I can’t logically or intellectually take issue with the NCAA’s adjusted transfer rules. Players should have the right to go where they want, and they shouldn’t have to wait. I mean, that’s just basic Americanism, right?
Similarly, I’m legally, Constitutionally, morally, ethically and economically onboard with players’ rights to profit from their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). I mean, ain’t that America?
These steps not only needed to be taken. They had to happen. No looking back.
But let’s not be naïve. Seismic changes are already in motion in college football, and this new wave will become a tsunami that will alter the very foundations of the sport.
There will be brutal—if in some cases unforeseen and unintentional—consequences for many schools and conferences. Some folks, maybe lots of folks, are going to be forced out of the football “business.”
The gap between the haves and the have nots, always wider than the Grand Canyon, will now stretch from Earth to Mars.
Welcome to free agency. Welcome to bidding wars. Yes, welcome to “player holdouts.” I’m telling you, that will happen.
The face of high school recruiting will change. Because of the portal, many high school players who previously would have landed D-1 scholarships will get shut out.
College rosters will be fluid, unstable and transactional. Locker rooms and team cultures will be forever altered. We fans in the stands are going to have to suspend disbelief even more than we always have in order to get any kind of “warm and fuzzy.”
I can’t and won’t complain about these foundational changes. But let’s not kid ourselves about their impact.