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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Bridges: Transfer portal detractors are hypocrites at the highest level

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It’s really not hard to find a college football or basketball coach who’s a detractor of the transfer portal. Their quotes can generally be found in just about any local newspaper that elects to talk with them as well as radio stations in their respective home markets. Then there’s the websites run by some alleged college basketball expert that will tell you what a coach is thinking, many times without even speaking to the individual who’s simply lamenting the fact that he lost a player without any warning and can’t understand why the individual would ever consider leaving. 

They’ll also tell you just how ill-advised many of these transfer decisions are, and in some cases elaborate on just how tragic the decision a player makes to leave is, pointing the finger at the player as he goes out the door, citing his inability to be part of a system, and to work hard daily and “grow.”

Most of these coaches are securely wrapped within a cocoon of guaranteed money. Coaches have the potential to claim even more riches when their contract pays them for winning a high percentage of their games and excelling further in conference tournaments like the heralded NCAA Basketball Tournament or BCS Football Championship Playoffs.

It’s all right there for the viewing in terms of public information and some of the financial terms are staggering.

That being said, the mere threat of a player who’s disenchanted about playing time leaving the sacred domain disguised as a basketball or football program is decried as unwise and ultimately carries profound consequences for the player.

Just ask the coach who feels scorned by a young man seeking greener pastures.

He’ll spell it out for you. 

They also blame it on the player’s right to pursue Name, Image, and Likeness monies, rather than talk to you about how they got beaten soundly by another university on that front, all the while claiming we don’t “publicly” discuss such matters despite the fact that those dealings are certainly no longer proprietary in nature.

They’ll also try to convince you it’s the fault of shoe and apparel companies too, when they themselves are often paid huge sums to wear those clothes bearing that logo.

Simply put, coaches want to keep their foot on player’s throats and keep them around under the now defunct adage that getting your degree as a member of “my” program is more important than the potential riches out there associated with an unconscionable potentially successful transfer to another university.

Forget the player who many times comes from an impoverished environment who could certainly use the extra cash from a similar platform at another program. The coach’s position is that, “we recruited you and this is clearly the best place for you,” even if you’re languishing on the bench with a limited shelf life. You do belong here. 

Their decision to seek opportunities elsewhere for any reason is always quickly denounced internally and quite often publicly, too.

Why would anyone want to leave this Shangri-la and seek more playing time and the coveted financial rewards that might present themselves with a simple change of one’s zip code? Preposterous, eh?

Not every Division One athlete is professional material and clearly who one gets career advice from matters, but it’s time for these hypocritical coaches who possess the contractual right to pick up and leave anytime there’s a better gig awaiting them, to give the same consideration to their players without such malice. 

Scholarships have always been granted annually, so that four-year commitment garbage doesn’t fly in today’s competitive environment of college sports. Much to the chagrin of these influential and wealthy coaches, the players now have a mechanism that levels the playing field and in my opinion, that’s a beautiful thing.

Make coaches work a bit harder to earn what are, in many cases, exorbitant salaries, and recognize that the recruitment of players is only one phase of their livelihood and the transfer portal is another crucial component. 

It’s a highly competitive market and business is booming, with plenty of cash to go around. 

How the pie is now being cut in college sports is bothering many coaches and if l’m a player with options, then that’s just a beautiful thing for me. 

Winning now costs more than many universities want to pay, but don’t blame your balance sheet on a player who simply wants to pan for their gold elsewhere as they see fit.

Danny Bridges who supports the transfer portal one hundred percent can be reached at (317) 370-8447 or at Bridgeshd@aol.com.

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