Alabama football coach Nick Saban thinks “the spirit” of college football’s transfer portal “in and of itself is a positive thing for players.” But let’s not get carried away: Lest anyone think he’s completely on board with the idea of players having the sort of agency that, say, coaches do, Saban thinks there has to be limits.
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Here’s more of what the Crimson Tide coach had to say on the topic at the SEC’s annual preseason media day:
“The issue with the transfer portal is we’ve gotten very liberal in giving people waivers, so, when we do that, it becomes free agency, which I don’t think is good for college football. I don’t think it’s good for fans.”
“So, in my opinion, if we’re going to have a transfer portal that’s good for the players, then we ought to have a rule that says, regardless of what happens when you transfer, you have to sit out a year. And now we have, I don’t know—at one point in time there were 65 waivers that were given in a year. So everybody’s expectation is I can transfer and get a waiver. We make commitments to players for four years. They make commitments to us to be in our program. It may not work out for everybody and they may have a better opportunity someplace else, but if they have to sit out for a year, it would be a consequence for them in terms of their commitment.”
If anyone understands the importance of commitment to a college football program, it’s Nick Saban.