In October 2018, the NCAA changed the rules making it much easier for players to transfer to another team. No longer do the athletes need to seek permission from their school and/or coach to transfer. Also no longer can schools or coaches block undergraduates from transferring to certain schools. All players need to do now is enter their name in the transfer portal that’s been created and wait to be contacted by any schools/coaches interested in having them on their team.
As of right now there are several hundred softball players listed in the softball transfer portal most are names you probably wouldn’t recognize but there also has been a constant lists of, ‘star players,’ showing up on the list.
In my opinion the easing of the transfer rules has created a big problem. The best example of it is how Oregon went from being a 53-10 team in 2018 and almost a lock to make the 2019 playoffs with most of its players returning to a 22-30 team in 2019 largely due to losing a mass of players via the transfer portal. To me the transfer portal has become an online shopping channel for athletes looking to find a team that has the best chance of winning a championship. While that is a goal any athlete strives to achieve what about loyalty to your team and school. How about abandoning the school that gave you a chance to become that star player. Also what about the education part didn’t you choose a school because of their academics too?
It reminds me of the Beach Boys song, “Be True To Your School,” the third track found on their, ‘Little Deuce Coupe’ album.
The song’s chorus goes like this:
So be true to your school now
Just like you would to your girl or guy
Be true to your school now
And let your colors fly
Be true to your school
While college softball is growing with record numbers in both game attendance and tv ratings most fans have a favorite team and favorite player on that team and are turned off by a revolving door of players coming and going constantly.
The transfer portal also favors the big schools giving them the chance to cherry pick star players from smaller schools.
Those are my thoughts on the transfer portal rules but I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you think its a good thing for softball.