Who does the portal benefit?
Most people will look at the transfer portal and claim that it only benefits the more prominent schools such as Alabama, Georgia, Penn State, Michigan, and others. However, the entire concept of the transfer portal was designed to benefit the student-athletes.
With that said, the portal helped both smaller schools and larger schools. That is, until unrestricted NIL programs were introduced.
With athletes now making money off their likeness and image, the more prominent schools with deeper pockets can now “buy” recruits. This also applies to athletes in the transfer portal, as they can go to whichever school will pay them the most. This is not true for all athletes; however, it can be said about a great deal of the recruiting practices right now.
Most will say this is ruining college football, but there is another way of looking at the situation with NIL deals and the transfer portal.
Big schools, especially in the SEC, have always paid recruits to play football for them. This is a well-documented practice and is rarely caught by the NCAA itself. Whether the league does not know or chooses to turn a blind eye to the paying of recruits is another topic entirely.
The portal can also benefit smaller schools. There have been many cases in which talented players want to play immediately and transfer to a smaller school; After all, more star players would prefer to get into the league as early as possible.
“It’s basically dealing with different salary caps. Now we have a sport that has completely different salary caps and some of these schools have, whatever, five to ten times more than everybody else in what they can pay the players. I know nobody uses those phrases, but that is what it is.” – Ole Miss head coach lane Kiffen on NIL deals impacting recruiting
When it comes to the portal itself, excluding NIL deals, it tends to help both larger and smaller schools. There have also been many rumors about limiting the portal and NIL deals so that college football does not get even more lopsided than it has already started to become.