I think it's okay to feel conflicted about the transfer portal
Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.
Quick housekeeping note: I am actually flying to Las Vegas this morning for the SBJ Intercollegiate Athletics Forum. I'm in town until Thursday afternoon, so if you're going to be there, I'd love to chat! I'm at [email protected]
I'm writing this newsletter on Monday, and by the evening, it appears that north of 700 FBS players entered the transfer portal, officially kicking off the 'free agency' period of the recruiting cycle.
Back in 2019, back in the very early days of Extra Points, I interviewed Dr. Lee Igel of NYU’s NYU School of Professional Studies’ Tisch Institute for Global Sport. I asked what he thought about fans saying they were going to stop watching college sports after NIL and increasing roster movement. He was very skeptical that many folks would actually follow through on dropping their fandom.
So far, it looks like he was right. FBS college football attendance hasn't completely cratered post NIL/Portal, and TV ratings this season have been strong. If frustration over NIL and portaling has led to widespread fan disengagement, we haven't seen it yet.
It was easy to make fun of anybody who expressed concern as either a hopelessly out-of-touch Boomer, or perhaps somebody whose salary depended on them maintaining the status quo. I certainly did. Who doesn't want athletes to get money?
But I have to admit....even an amateurism-skeptic like myself has some pretty mixed feelings about what is happening with roster management. This system may be less exploitive than it was before, but that doesn't mean that it isn't exploitive.
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