clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Midweek Musings - The Transfer Portal Giveth and It Taketh Away

Win some, lose some

NCAA Football: Penn State at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

With news breaking over the last couple days that wide receiver Julian Fleming would be transferring TO Penn State, followed quickly by wide receiver Dante Cephas transferring FROM Penn State, it’s kind of hard not to think about the give-and-take nature of the transfer portal.

I’ve written about this before, but with COVID, penalty-free transfers, and NIL just to name a few things, college football has taken a fairly quick turn to a minor league farm system for the NFL.

That’s not to say it wasn’t already. As the only major sports league without a minor league system, college football has long been the only avenue for pro prospects to showcase their talents before heading to the NFL.

It always seemed, though, that once a player was on a team, they stayed there for as long as it took to garner enough interest to head to the pros. Or, barring that, had committed to the school for reasons beyond getting to the NFL, and would rather stay at their dream school than head out for a more advantageous avenue to get to the league.

While I’d like to think that eventually things like NIL will be better regulated, and that this extra COVID year will go away and we’ll get back to 5 years of eligibility, and that transferring will again have that 1-year sit-out penalty, at this point I’m not so sure. The NCAA has done little-to-no regulation of any of these things, and with the sport inching closer and closer to a Power 2/Group of 8 setup, it wouldn’t shock me at all to see the SEC and B1G break away from the NCAA entirely, and set up their own league.

Perhaps then back alley NIL deals and hushed exchanges of money under the table can be done away with, and teams can barter and trade players like they do in the minors. Shoot, implement a salary cap and level the playing field a little bit while we’re at it.

In any case, the Lions have likely gotten a net gain with this wide receiver trade. One WR likely doesn’t fix everything, and I’m sure Penn State will be on the prowl for some additional pass catchers. Whether they have enough money to appeal to someone like Evan Stewart (exceedingly unlikely) remains to be seen.

Here’s hoping the remainder of this off season the portal giveth more than it taketh away.