In just a couple months over the summer of 2021, college football’s landscape drastically changed. In sweeping legislation, the NCAA first passed a one-time transfer waiver and then followed that up by allowing athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness. Some programs have done a much better job adjusting to this new world than others.
Alabama, for instance, has cleaned up in the transfer portal since the NCAA allowed immediate eligibility for first-time transfer players. But the sudden, consecutive changes have raised concerns about sustainability — something Alabama coach Nick Saban is more than aware of.
“I don’t think what we’re doing right now is a sustainable model,” Saban told The Associated Press. The primary concern is that the concoction of NIL and the transfer portal has created an open-market free agency of sorts. Players can essentially go to the highest bidder rather than make a decision based off the traditional recruiting values like scheme fit, coaching culture and opportunity.
“But that creates a situation where you can basically buy players,” Saban said. “You can do it in recruiting. I mean, if that’s what we want college football to be, I don’t know. And you can also get players to get in the transfer portal to see if they can get more someplace else than they can get at your place.”