Transfer portal windows could soon be more than an idea in college athletics, which Clemson’s most recognizable coaches are in favor of in order to help manage their rosters in the future.
The transfer portal has been working overtime since the NCAA put a one-time transfer rule into effect last summer allowing student-athletes to transfer and be immediately eligible at their new school once during their collegiate careers. But other than May 1 (for athletes in fall and winter sports) and July 1 (for spring-sport athletes) deadlines for athletes to enter the portal and still maintain immediate eligibility for the next season, there’s no real timeline as to when athletes can enter the portal.
For football coaches like Dabo Swinney, who’s managing as many as 85 scholarships each year and has more than 100 total players on his roster at Clemson, that makes trying to figure out who’s potentially coming and who’s potentially going a year-round challenge.
“I think there needs to be some type of guidelines and some type of order so you can have some semblance of roster management,” Swinney told The Clemson Insider.
Whether or not there need to be windows placed on when transfers can enter the portal was one of the topics discussed by ACC coaches last week during the league’s annual spring meetings in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, was in town for part of the week to spearhead those talks, which appear to be gaining some steam.
The AFCA will propose a pair of windows in which players would have to enter the portal, both of which would fall during recruiting contacting periods, according to CBS Sports. The first would take place between the final week of college football’s regular season and December’s early signing period. The second would be from April 15 until May 1. Players could still transfer any time once they’re in the portal.
Such a proposal would need approval from the Division I Football Oversight Committee. Clemson men’s basketball coach Brad Brownell said he would support a similar change in his sport not only for the benefit of transfers and coaches but also a team’s current roster.
“Roster management has gotten more difficult from year to year the longer we’ve been doing this. Now this is another situation you’re dealing with,” Brownell said of the transfer portal. “And just trying to have an idea, not only you as a coach to know what your roster is, but for the guys on their team to know who they’re playing with. That’s part of it, too. People don’t think about it from that standpoint, but as a player, you want to know who’s going to be on my team with me? So I think there does have to be some situation or window.”
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