Transfer portal chaos in college basketball

College Sports

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Everyday people have the freedom of choice, including the ability to choose where you want to work.

NCAA Division I athletes have been denied this right, until recently. Players no longer have to sit out a year if they transfer schools.

“I don’t know if there’s a coach in the country that feels good about it, to be honest,” K-State men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber said. “We all knew it would affect it, but we never thought we’d be getting to 1,400/1,500 transfers.”

The are obvious concerns for this new rule, such as player retention, building a culture and smaller schools being abandoned for bigger ones. K-State men’s basketball has already seen three players leave and three transfer in.

“In a way, we traded,” Weber said. “I kind of laugh. I kind of feel like a general manager of a franchise instead of a coach.”

But how about Division II athletics? DII athletes never had to sit out a year, which helped retain standout athletes who could go DI but didn’t want to wait. 

“It’s part of our reality now,” Washburn men’s basketball coach Brett Ballard said. “I think that we can complain about it and moan about it, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to prepare for it as best as we can.”

Another concern is how this rule will impact high school recruiting. With the transfer portal offering experienced players at coaches’ fingertips, fewer high school recruits could be walking through the door.

“You’ll recruit some high school kids, but at the same time, you might be able to get a better player later on, so you better hold some scholarships back,” Weber said.

The NCAA changed the rule so those who actually drive college sports, the athletes, get their power back.

“I think that’s how it should be, in my opinion,” DII Player of the Year Trevor Hudgins said. “It’s cool. It’s cool that people can transfer and play their first year there.”

Ballard also sees this rule as beneficial to the players.

“It’s been a positive thing in the past five years to the last decade, to try to give them more power and more of a say in the overall landscape of college athletics,” Ballard said. “I think they, in most cases, deserve a lot of this.”

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