It seems like every day we are starting to get some take on the transfer portal and NIL. I get it, it's the new thing and people going to lose their mind about it one way or another. Bill Self, like most coaches, aren't going to 'love' it because they want as much control as possible. That said, this is peak irony.
I'd be willing to listen more to coaches or people blast the transfer portal if they acknowledge the fact so many people are in there is because we've never had more players playing college basketball. The fact people were given free years because of COVID caused more players to be forced out of situations or find new situations. They could be recruited over or another transfer coming in. There's a whole ripple down effect that needs to be acknowledged. If there are still 1,500 players in the portal 5 years from now then, sure, we can have this sort of discussion more.
Also remember the portal goes both ways. Mid-majors are losing big name players when they hit a point of wanting to go to a bigger school. What's the downside in that? For mid-major coaches I get it but they can also benefit. We've seen high-major players hit the portal and decide to go to a mid-major so they can have a bigger role. That helps. But I will never blast a player who was underrecruited outplay his potential and want to put himself in a better position to go pro. That's just a smart career choice, something that any other student would do.
As for the NIL factor I just can't care enough to get upset about it. Players getting money isn't new. Shit the name Sam Gilbert was a thing back in the 60s. Now it's just mostly above table instead of below table. If someone decides a player is worth x amount of money so be it. We're still going to get upsets in the NCAA Tournament. We're still going to see top recruits go to the same group of schools. Has anything truly changed?
And sure some are transferring to get a bigger NIL deal. That could change their family lives in that moment and they might not make that $100,000 or whatever down the road. That matters. Every transfer is different so you can't just put a blanket statement over the portal.
That said, I think my favorite thing about Self saying something about the portal is earlier this month, Remy Martin - a transfer - hit this shot:
I'm willing to listen to arguments and changes that should be made to the transfer portal as long as it doesn't include 'stay and fight for something.' It's lazy and overplayed at this point. Give me something real.