Nick Saban discusses 'spirit' of transfer portal, whether CFB has become free agency
Less than a week after one of the Alabama players entered the transfer portal, Nick Saban was asked multiple questions about the policy at SEC Media Days. Alabama has lost a handful of players to transfers this offseason, most notably QB Jalen Hurts to Oklahoma.
Saban said the initial intent of players announcing their availability for further opportunities is a good thing.
“I think the spirit of the transfer portal in and of itself is a positive thing for players,” Saban said. “… The issue is we’ve got very liberal in giving people waivers, and when we do that it becomes free agency, which I don’t think is good for college football, I don’t think it’s good for fans.”
Saban also believes that if players transfer, they must sit out a year.
“That’s how it’s been for years and years and years,” he said, and noted that at one point there were 65 waivers. “…Everybody’s expectation is I can transfer and get waiver. … We make commitments to players for four years. They make commitments to us to be in our program. … They may have a better opportunity some place else, they have to sit out a year, it would be a consequence.”
The transfer portal was established in October and it allows collegiate student-athletes to enter their name into an online database and wait for collegiate teams to contact them. Players can also withdraw their name from the portal.