How the NIL, Recruiting and Transfer Portal have Changed College Football

The NIL, transfer portal and recruiting cycle have all altered the college football landscape substantially in the last few years. Coaches are leaving, fans are uneasy and even those remaining in seat are restless.
Ole Miss v Georgia
Ole Miss v Georgia / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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Transfer Portal – Like NIL, the new transfer portal rules the NCAA has put in place have also been a detriment to college football. Many fans and media professionals now view college football as rooting for the laundry (teams colors) on the field, and not the individual players as players can transfer at will without penalty.

On December 18, 2023, the NCCA agreed to a temporary injunction allowing athletes to transfer however many times they would like to, versus a few years ago players could transfer one time and had to sit out a full year, losing a year of academic eligibility in the process if they decided to do so.

There were only a few instances in which a player used to be able to transfer without penalty; that was if a coaching change happened at their current school, or they graduated.

With the new rule, teams with larger NIL collectives are capitalizing on this, and so are the players.

This injunction makes it difficult to become loyal to a player or school, and in the cases of some, the sport in general as this is another way it makes it seem more professional that amateur.

The transfer portal also opens at the conclusion of the regular season, and before bowl games even begin. This makes it extremely difficult on coaches who are also in the middle of trying to prepare their team.

In an article by SI’s Dan Lyons, Ole Miss head coach commented on the transfer portal in that “it would be like before the NFC or AFC playoffs start in a couple of weeks.” Kiffin is not wrong, and that is what makes the transfer portal window so head scratching.

Many coaches feel the NCAA should move the portal window to after the season concludes.