Sport in Grip: The changing landscape of transfers and NIL has also changed college attitudes

SPORT AT HAND • If your son is a high school football senior, we’re sorry. Tomorrow, the first day he can sign a letter of intent to pursue his sport at the collegiate level, isn’t the same as it was, oh, let’s say three years ago. Recruiting has changed so quickly.


• For all hand-wringing changes In compensation for name, image, and likeness, and it was justified to some extent, the biggest recent transformation in college football (and a few other sports) was brought to us by the NCAA’s decision to allow free transfers for athletes.

The ability for someone to put their name into a database, say they’re available for recruitment, and then be eligible for the next season changed the landscape. Not only for current players but also for potential ones.

There are a variety of reasons for this, but the main one is that college coaches see transfers as a well-known commodity. In the must-now-win world of most programs, this is a big selling point. And schools sell their soul to attract the best players they can.

Where’s the high school recruit? For many beyond the high end, they are waiting for the aftermath to settle down. Most high school football players with college aspirations want to be tested in order to play at the highest possible level. That ceiling may not be where it was a few years ago.

A player who has once received an offer from, say, a mid-level Pac-12 school might find his future blocked by two transfers from lower-league schools at his position. Which means their route to playing the game they love is to switch gears and accept an offer from a school they would have walked past before. If available. Keep in mind that due to COVID-19, collegiate athletics is still dealing with the extra year of eligibility and there are fewer open positions everywhere.


But no worry. If you find a place to play, have a great first year, and subscribe to the portal, you might end up at your dream school. At least that’s how the world seems to tend.

Seems a little off balance, doesn’t it? Wait till you hear what some trainers say is happening. get this. Some schools don’t follow the few rules the NCAA has set out to regulate the transfer system. And the organization spends no resources to enforce them.

Shocked right? There have been reports of lower league programs finding out that their better players were being contacted before they put their names on the portal. Said what they could make in NIL money. Said how much they are wanted by School X. If only they left school A.

That shouldn’t be allowed. From someone. But it would be no wonder if it were true. It has always been like this. When it comes to recruiting at any level, smart people always find a way around it whenever a rule is made. The broadcast portal rules, minimal as they are, are no different.

Of course, no coach would call. But someone with unofficial ties to the school will explain what is possible if the player simply entered the portal. No official deal will be made. But next, School X filled their hole on left tackle.

Recruitment has always been like this, of course. The unscrupulous have never been deterred by rules. In the past, the rule-breaking enticements were aimed at the upper class of the high school classes. Now they have already expanded to required players at the college level.

All this takes effort. Time that used to be dedicated to evaluating high school athletes is now being used to do the same with transfer opportunities. Recruitment time, resources, and scholarships have been reallocated.

The transfer door opened wide, which is fine. A little more freedom was needed. But the unintended consequence? A narrowing of the window for high school athletes.



WSU: Caught in the middle? That’s where the cougars sit these days. They’ll see some of their better players leave, and they’ll be able to attract some of the better players from other programs. At least that’s how it should happen. The latest news shared by Colton Clark is more players leaving, including starting left tackle Jarett Kingston, and for high school players to commit to signing is a bit more traditional. … Elsewhere in Pac-12 and college football, the comings and goings of players at the conference are so overwhelming that we won’t mention all of them, even within the region. We pass on names when we feel they might be of interest. For example USC pickup Arizona recipient Dorian Singer is a big deal as it is Washington tempting former USC linebacker Ralen Goforth to go north. But many won’t. … That huskies have to fill holes with recruitssure, but do a joint effort with the portal and to Keep current players in town. …UW too heard some good news about the Alamo Bowl. … Oregon States season is over. It was great. … Oregon deals with comes and corridor. Like everyone else. The biggest loss could be a player who was just “committed,” meaning a five-star quarterback on the way to UCLA morning. … We’ll see if Deion Sanders changes recruiting this week Colorado. … No curve required to turn Utah. … On the basketball news, Oregon State tries to lock some things while non-conference ends. … Colorado focuses on offense. … Arizona hosts Montana State.


gonzaga: The women, who moved up to 22nd in the latest Associated Press poll, had to grind past San Diego and pull away late at the Kennel last night to win 70-59. Jim Allen has the game history and one on the leaderboard. … The men, who also rose in the rankings and jumped to No. 11, host Montana tonight. Jim Meehan has a preview as well as the key matchup. … Theo Lawson covers poll history. … We can pass on a preview from Montana. … Elsewhere in the WCC, BYU thinks it’s turned a corner. … USF was shocked at home by Texas-Arlington.


EMU: The Eagles basketball team needed players. The transfer portal hit her hard after last season. Enter Division III Transfer Cedric Coward. Dan Thompson has his story. … Elsewhere in the big sky, looking back, this could be the last day we start football Season of Montana State once more. … Idaho State’s new coach take it slow … On the basketball news, State of Weaver picked up the best non-conference win for Skyhanding over State of Utah his first defeat.


Idaho: The Vandals equalized their record last night with a 76-73 win at Cal State Northridge. … Idaho’s football schedule for next year has had a bit of a revamp, the school said. This news introduces the latest SR column with local briefs.

Whitworth: The Pirates’ tough schedule continues this week, but at least the games are at home. Dan has a preview of the Oakwood Classic that Whitworth is hosting starting tonight.

Preparations: Dave Nichols has a summary of Monday night’s prep action.

seafarer: This is the perfect time for some questions and answers on the mariners. Of course we think that every day.

Seahawks: Remember when Frank Clark was sold to the Chiefs? It was a while ago … Season of Geno Smith makes it hard for the Hawks to think about next year. … Seattle is likely focused more on the next week and month.

Octopus: A backhand hit is still tough a Seattle player seems to have mastered it.


• Cold. Snow. More snow. colder. Christmas lights. The sound of shoveling. We are in the last trains of December. Winter is officially upon us. Which brings about one of the happiest days of the year. From Thursday the daylight hours will be longer again. My optimistic nature will return. See you later … Sport in Grip: The changing landscape of transfers and NIL has also changed college attitudes

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