College Football Transfering; How It Has Become More Active Than Ever.

College Football Transfering; How It Has Become More Active Than Ever.

As the off-season continues for college football, athletes take this time to make multiple decisions. Some will begin watching film from last season to improve the new team, and others begin to search for a new team to call home in the transfer portal. This has been a common theme across the history of college football, but it’s happening now more than ever.

Every college football athlete’s goal is to win a national championship, and they will work as hard as they can to get themselves in that position, even if it results in switching through multiple universities in a college career.

According to an examination of the NCAA transfer portal data, the past three off-seasons have seen a steady increase in players committing to the transfer portal.

There was roughly a 34% increase in transfer players from the 2021 off-season to 2022, and an 18% increase from 2022 to 2023. This major increase is most commonly associated with the introduction of the Name, Image, and Likeness rules established in 2021. This gives athletes the ability to receive financial revenue when the university uses an athlete’s image for promotional use.

Since the birth of this new rule, the rate of transferring has gone up exponentially. In 2024, most transfers have come in and out of the University of Colorado. Data from the On3 Transfer Portal page shows the top 20 schools that have the most athletes coming in and out of their college.

A lot of influence to transfer out of big-name universities comes from athletes wanting to play for certain coaches more than others, and selecting a location where they think the N.I.L route would work best for them.

“It’s more often than not playing time, unless they’re a very established player and they think they can make money of their name, image, and likeness elsewhere.”

Kent State Asssistant Athletic Director, Dan Griffin

The question remains, is this mass amount of money good for college football? Some coaches have expressed their opinion that it has given players too much of an ego, and have forgotten the concept of being a student-athlete. If college football players are good enough to make it to the pro level, they will know as soon as they get their first scholarship from a Division I university. From that point on, it is up to the athlete on how they want to spend their career.

It is important for colleges to treat their athletes fairly and justly, and that is what the NCAA’s main goal was. Now they have allowed athletes to choose their destiny. Recently, the NCAA created a movement allowing immediate eligibility for transfer student-athletes in Division I. Once a student transfers to another university in the off-season, they will no longer have to wait a year to participate in the team. This creates a new openness in college athletics and resembles much of how the professional sports scene works, moving closer to a succinct organization that resembles the NFL.

While the NCAA rules still forbid universities from paying their athletes, the future of college football may transition from being a stepping stone into the pros, to a gateway to finish their athletic career in college.

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