By Sean Edmondson
WITH LESS SCHOLARSHIPS BEING OFFERED TO HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES, WHO IS THE TRANSFER PORTAL BENEFITING?
Columbus, Ohio - Only a couple weeks since the Transfer portal opened, a slew of players have already jumped ship in hopes of greener pastures at another school, which is currently affected the class of 2023 high school recruiting in a major way.
Many of the top players from the 23 class have already committed and signed, but the majority of guys are still beating the pavement in hopes of scholarship opportunities that are just not there anymore. Of the top 150 players 146 have already signed and most before January, which allowed college coaches to sit back and wait for the portal to open.
CAN YOU BLAME COLLEGE COACHES
The majority of Division I coaches are leaning more on the portal for obvious reasons, players that are ready to contribute immediately, easier recruiting access and not having to develop are some of the key factors mentioned during conversations with several College coaches recently. Most College coaches are on 2-3 year contracts that calls for a win now mentality which in return hurts high school players that have previously gotten scholarships based on potential rather than where they are currently. Based on statistics the past 2 seasons, many college coaches aren't even recruiting high school players which can been directly seen when going through many Division I rosters.from this past season.
College coaches are being fired after 1 or 2 bad seasons which puts coaches in a tough situation that is based soley on winning and winning now, which translates to only bringing in players that can contribute immediatly.
Four and Five star players are also turning to Mid and Low majors, committing to programs that had previously been viewed as lower than their level, which in return has helped propell recruiting on the smaller campuses. Mid/Low majors are also leaning hard on the portal with 13 of the top 50 transfer classes going to low/mid major programs. In addition many players who have found difficulty at Division I schools are flooding the D II,III and NAIA schools in search of playingtime, which has also taken from the scholarship opportunities for high school players.
Theres no question that the portal will heighten the talent and experience levels for most college programs, but at what cost and for how long. In my opnion there will definatly be a trincle down effect starting when players and parents realize that the opportunities for College scholarships have dwindled away at the hands of the portal. The after effect of no opportunities will be less grass roots and youth participants which will in return directly affect the talentpool, and the level of play nationwide at the High School and then college levels.
This will directly damage the product Nationwide by shrinking the national talent pool that will create a direct divide between top teir programs and everyone else, due to the shortage of talented recruits.
WHO WINS FROM THE PORTAL
Some will be quick to tell you that this is a win win for all parties but most high school players and coaches would beg to differ and so would I, Its obvious that Colleges are the biggest winners with out question. Much of the risk involved with recruiting a high school player is eliminated as well as the grooming factor, by bringing in seasoned college athlets over 17 and 18 year old.chool players.
With less scholarships offered to high school athletes we are going to find that a big majority of players will be forced to attend Junior Colleges and Prep schools while still shelling out money in chase of Scholarship opportunities, while many others without resources will fall to the way side and never play again.
Division II and III programs are also big winners in the portal sweepstakes, these programs will likely recieve a bulk of Division I caliber talent with kids who in previous years would have had DI opportunities,are now having to re evalute the landscpe.
BY THE NUMBERS
-In 2022 1700 players entered the portal with only 1 in 12 transfering up
-60 % Of players that transfered up to P5 schools minutes shrunk drastically
-Nearly 50% of players that entered portal did not find a new school
-On average college coaches are saving bulk of scholarships for incoming transfers rather than high school players
IS IT WORTH THE INVESTMENT
Many parents, players and coaches arent really understanding the changing landscape in college basketball due to the portal, this may cause alot to weigh the pros and the cons on if its really worth it, the trainning, aau and countless other expenses that parents have been shelling out for years in hopes of eventually obtaining a athletic scholarship.