At last count, the transfer portal has had 1.8 million entrants…give or take 1.79M.
What’s interesting, to me at least, is the division that it’s created in fanbases.
On one hand, you have the tried and true supporters that just want to see players stay, but hope more than anything that the player(s) succeed wherever they end up. On the other hand, there are folks that hate the system and deem any transfer entrant “as yet another example of this soft generation” or something similar (with further talks of getting off lawns.)
Here’s the deal, if we had transfer portals in our everyday lives, we sure as hell would probably have used it already.
This all boils down to the fact we’re dealing with kids.
I know that they grow to wonderful young men/women, but the recruiting process is starting at 16 or 17 with a majority of players in their own, specialized bubble. To play college basketball, especially at DI level, you’re the cream of the crop. Some guys just finished a high school or AAU career, in which they lost five or less games TOTAL. They’ve been told nothing but positives about their game and their skillset.
As coaches, you feed off of that.
“Here is why you should come to this university.”
“Here is why this system is for you.”
“Here is why you’ll be a star.” etc
“Well why doesn’t a coach state from the beginning that they have to mature into a certain role/position/starting spot?”
How many times have you heard a server at a restaurant say “everything here is good” versus “well, honestly, I would stay away from the calamari to avoid a future bathroom episode”?
What about your acquaintances saying “Your house is awesome! Wow that that shirt is perfect! Man, I’m jealous of you…” versus “Your life is shit and we talk about your behind your back.”
Coaches are salesmen. This is what happens. They build up a program and individual players to get said players onto campus. You can’t blame a player for saying, “You know what? This isn’t what I signed up for. I wonder what else is out there”… And now that there currently isn’t a one year wait period, the decision becomes easier.
They don’t want to be on the backburner or putting their all into a program that they deem isn’t giving back to them in return. So without penalty, they go to greener pastures.
People Want to be Loved
Remember those days of getting out of a relationship and (after talking to the fish tank in the corner of Player’s Retreat, so drunk that you could have sworn the fish understood you) there was that feeling of starting over?
Or when you crush an interview and you’re on Cloud 9 that “this is the right job, time for a fresh start.”
That’s the same feeling these players are going through. It’s a drug to be loved and wanted. If you spent 3 years at a job, working your a*s off and then all of a sudden you knew 8 other companies would want to court you…you wouldn’t be head over heels about this?!
Players came to a school, and for one reason or another, it wasn’t 100% as expected. They then get to go through the exciting process of hearing how perfect they are all over again. You can only imagine the adrenaline rush.
Wasn’t Meant To Be
Every situation has an outlier.
There is definitely players that come in, get less minutes and then say, “I’m out.” To that situation, and the upset portion of the fanbase, forget ’em. You don’t need to be ragging on the guy, when he would have done no good for the program anyways. If anything, you should be throwing up deuces and saying, wholeheartedly “Best of luck elsewhere!”.
Even in the situation most deserving of hate, hate still shouldn’t exist. They don’t want to be there, and in turn, you should be happy they aren’t anymore.
We want our good players and team leaders to stay. We truly do want these individuals to succeed. We just want to win games.
Hate the transfer game all you want, but don’t be that dick and go after kids for doing something, if given the opportunity in the context of our own lives, we’d all likely take into consideration.