In April of 2021, the NCAA revised its transfer portal restrictions, allowing athletes immediate eligibility upon transferring to a new school Since then, there has been a major influx in transfers, as athletes now have tons of leverage and no longer have to sit out a year as was previously required.
Related: Pros and Cons of Transferring as a College Athlete
In a recently revised rule, Division 1 athletes who enter the portal in a 60 day span will be able to maintain immediate eligibility, if, and only if, it is their first time transferring. However, the 60 day block is split up into two periods. The first begins after the day championship selections are made for respective fall sports. For Division One Women’s Soccer those days are November 8th to December 22nd, and May 1st to May 15th. However the immediate eligibility only applies to Division one athletes. Division II and III portals will be open on a more regular basis, throughout the year, with their launch date also being November 8th.
It’s been less than a week. Yet, the number of athletes who have hit the portal is wild. After just one day, the number was reported to be 162. A few days later the numbers continued to increase and as of November 11th, it stood at 681. What is causing this?
A Few Reasons for Mass Transfers
For one, it is hard to pass up the idea of immediate eligibility, plus the possibility of an extra year of eligibility due to Covid-19. Athletes also can become fed up or unhappy with their playing time and their interpersonal relationships can sometimes affect their portal justification. Communication with couches or teammates is really something that can skew a college soccer player to hit the portal. Even if you liked playing at your school, a sudden departure of a head coach or assistant coach can change everything in a flash. Also, it is worth noting that players who do not seem themselves playing beyond college may want a more rigorous institution, thus they head for the portal.
Related: Caleb Williams’s Transfer Success Story
Transfer With Caution
Though, it is worth noting that with all of the players that have recently hit the portal, it is quite possible that some don’t unfortunately find a future home. Teams can only take so many players and the NLI initial signing day was just a few days ago. Just over 50 percent of last year’s players in the transfer portal found a new destination, while more than 40 percent were still looking. 1The transfer portal can be intense, rigorous, stressful, and within the past year, players learned that. Whether your heart is invested in a program or not, just remember that all decisions come with caution.
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* Originally published on November 21, 2022, by Nicholas Nathanson