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Is the college transfer portal hurting high school students’ opportunities for athletic scholarships?

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 4:58 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 17, 2021 at 8:04 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The transfer portal is a complex issue. On one hand, it may heighten the talent level on the field, but on the other some say it could drastically limit the opportunity for a high school athlete to compete at the next level. High School and college coaches are not mincing words when it comes to the transfer portal.

“High school kids last year probably got the rawest deal of all time. Because of two reasons. First, the players got a year back so the seniors got to be a senior again and then the transfer portal happened,” said Samford Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bucky McMillan.

High school coaches have similar thoughts. Clay-Chalkville High School just won a state championship and are loaded with talent, but head coach Drew Gilmer believes it is now harder than ever to get an athletic scholarship.

“I do think it is hurting these high school athletes. Now a days in college with all the money going in to it, these coaches are coming in and have to win now. So with the one time free transfer these kids are leaving these other schools, they are at a smaller school per se and they have a great year, and these bigger schools are just snatching them up. So a lot of schools are saving these scholarships for portal guys,” said Coach Gilmer.

Some coaches are now educating their students on the transfer portal, and stressing how important it is kids stand out, with athletic scholarships now at a premium.

“We have had conversations with our kids about the portal and how it is going to affect them. About being prepared as far as their grades are concerned and making sure they do everything possible because those same opportunities are not around anymore.”

Now up until this year the NCAA rules forced transfers to sit out a year before returning to competition. With that no longer the case, hundreds of college athletes have flocked to the portal in search of a new opportunity. In turn, the number of available scholarships for graduating seniors have diminished greatly.

Several stars in the state have utilized the portal over the last few years. This includes Alabama’s Isiah Buggs and Jalen Hurts. Auburn quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and most recently Bo Nix. The three year Auburn starter made his announcement late Sunday evening.

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