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Kirk Herbstreit breaks down benefits, problems with transfer portal, NIL

Sam Gillenwater06/23/22
Article written by:On3 imageSam Gillenwater

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Michael Wade | Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When it comes to the changes in modern college athletics, everyone has their own opinion. The transfer portal and NIL can both have major benefits to programs and their players. However, they have their fair share of pitfalls considering how new their legislations are.

Kirk Herbstreit had a lot to say on the matters on a recent appearance on ‘Gramlich and Mac Lain‘. When it comes to the portal, he says no two circumstances are the same.

“I just don’t think I can throw an entire blanket over that topic and say, ‘people should not transfer,’ or ‘people should transfer.’ I just think it’s a case-by-case thing,” said Herbstreit. “I lean a little bit toward sticking it out. If it’s practical, I tend to lean toward sucking it up and fighting for something. If it looks like either the guy that recruited you or the head coach is gone, the system that you thought you were going to get into is gone, or you thought it was going to be a certain culture and it’s nothing like the culture they sold you, that’s a different set of circumstances. I can see how a guy would be like, ‘this isn’t working.’ I’m just mixed there.”

From there, Herbstreit reached the topic of NIL. In his opinion, he sees it as a positive. The chances of making it from high school to college is already a slim margin. The chances of going from there and making real money in the pros are even slimmer. That’s what makes NIL so impactful for players outside the level’s top-rated talent.

“I just think we’ve created a chase of, now with NIL, this short-term money that sounds like a lot of money and it’s really exciting. I worry for kids to chase short-term money to potentially impact their long-term gains,” said Herbstreit. “Remember, 2% of these guys are going to the NFL. Less than 2% are getting that second contract, which is like generational wealth. I’m all for this NIL. I think if you’re a former player, most people would agree with it.”

Finally, he combined how the two new systems are impacting one another. The landscape of recruiting, whether in the portal or in high school, has shifted. With a lack of regulations, it has become a bidding war that only benefits the premier programs.

“I’m not for poaching players from smaller schools. I think that’s terrible. I’m not for using it as an inducement to be like, ‘Hey, if you come here we’ll give you $8 million in NIL.’ I’m not a fan of that,” said Herbstreit. “(For) college coaches, it’s no longer ‘tradition, we’re going to be competing for championships, got a great business school.’ It’s all about, ‘Well I was at this school last week and they said they’re going to give me $800,000, what are you?’ That’s all it is. I just can’t imagine that that’s what we want for college athletics”

At the end of the day, this is college sports in 2022. It will be far easier to fix the system’s early shortcomings than to attempt to put it back in the bottle. If no changes are made to the portal or NIL rules, though, Herbstreit suggests even bigger ones could follow.

“Right now there’s no rules. It’s just do whatever you want to do and we can’t live like that. I think eventually it’s going to lead to the Power 5 pulling out (of the NCAA), creating some rules that make sense for both sides, making sure the revenue is evenly split, and (then) let’s go. I don’t think we can avoid it. We’ve all wanted to try to hold onto the past, but that’s our future. That’s where we’re headed.”