Morning Conversational: Is the Transfer Portal a Topic of Discussion During Recruiting?
Coaches are control freaks. A few years ago, Urban Meyer was asked during a press conference if he was concerned about a particular position. He responded that of course he was because his job was to be concerned about everything.
Inside a football facility, everything a head coach can see is under his control, and it is his job to be worried about it.
In the era of the transfer portal, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and every other college coach in the business is having to deal with the loss of some control, which then brings about new worries and concerns.
It’s not that they are upset or concerned that their iron fist is being tested (okay, maybe some of them are), but rather that the work they put in to have a talented group of defensive ends, or a solidified quarterback room for the next four years is getting undermined more and more by the ease of the transfer portal.
The NCAA is working towards fixing the leak, but the issue is still here and it’s one that coaches are learning to deal with in real time.
“It is complicated,” Day said recently. “It’s a complicated issue and it’s one of those things I can’t just give you a one sentence and kind of answer that. There are parts of it that I completely understand. There are other parts that make me very, very nervous about where the future of college football is going with it. But there’s not an easy answer. It’s a complicated issue. And it’s something that we’re considering in terms of how we recruit. So I wish I could give you one answer on that but we’ll save that for another day.”
One of the ways Day is working to keep players from transferring is by being open during the recruiting process.
Some coaches are okay telling a recruit what they want to hear, but in the age of the transfer portal, the better approach is telling them what they need to hear. And having heard it before they experience it will keep them from being caught off guard by the difficulty of becoming a successful student-athlete at Ohio State.
“I think you have to be transparent in talking to the parents because it’s not about winning the social media battle or the No. 2 rankings in the country. That has nothing to do with your four or five years,” Day said.
“I mean you might sign the No. 2 kid in the entire country, and then he jumps the transfer portal in the next year, what is it? That doesn’t mean anything. What matters is when they get here being successful on the field, off the field, getting their degree, getting a job after they’re done playing football and having a great career. That’s what matters. That’s where in recruiting we make sure that all the recruits spend a lot of time with our players. Get in that locker room, get around those players and ask them, because they’re the ones who really know.”