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The ugly side of the NCAA transfer portal

The SEC commissioner offered some alarming numbers.

NCAA Football: New Mexico Bowl-Central Michigan vs San Diego State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In October 2018, college football changed forever. That was when the NCAA modernized the transfer process, easing many of the previous restrictions that went into transferring, leading to the creation of the NCAA transfer portal.

The portal had good intentions. We all know of the NCAA’s ridiculous rules, not just about transferring, but everything. No one will ever side with the NCAA — and rightfully so.

The Virginia Tech Hokies were hit hard in the transfer portal after 2018. And, again, in 2020. However, over that time, the Hokies have also had some success with the portal. Khalil Herbert is the first name that comes to mind. Braxton Burmeister is another. There is Jordan Williams.

And, if we look back at many of the players Tech has lost, how many have been significant? Unfortunately, for many of the fans, the optics of the portal looked bad on head coach Justin Fuente.

News flash; it’s not a Fuente problem. It’s a college sports problem.

College kids deserve the right to transfer. But, in many cases, it’s not always the best move. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey recently said 13,000 student-athletes entered the portal — and 11,000 remain.

Wow. Those numbers are staggering.

We live in an instant gratification society. If someone isn’t named a starter as soon as they arrive on campus, they want to leave. Instead of having reasonable adults talk to them, they just leave. For the higher-ranked kids, they have no problem finding a landing spot. But for many of the kids, they’ll never be under scholarship again. And that’s sad.

For most college athletes, the pros aren’t an option. And, for many of the ones who have a cup of tea in professional sports, it’s a nice jumpstart to life — not a career.

There are many ways to go with this. I don’t know the solution. I know it’s a problem and it should concern everyone from the student-athletes to the parents to the coaches and to the schools. Just wait until the 2021-2022 college basketball season. Roy Williams and Coach K saw the landscape ahead and got out.

We’ve seen recently with Texas and Oklahoma heading to the SEC that college sports are forever changed. College sports was changed long before Texas and Oklahoma decided to bolt from the Big 12.

It all began with the transfer portal. Just like most things, there is good and bad with the transfer portal. Sadly, there’s no turning back now.