Alabama has had players leave and join the program through the transfer portal, so coach Nick Saban can see first-hand the benefits and consequences of how the transfer portal impacts a team.

Saban was asked about the portal, and how he would improve it by Greg McElroy of the SEC Network during a segment at the SEC Media Days on Wednesday from Hoover, Alabama. Like a lot of changes in college sports, Saban touched on the trickle down effect of rules like the portal, and how lower-level teams adjust and change their philosophy around building a roster.

“My concern with the transfer, not the portal itself is the fact that players can transfer and be immediately eligible makes it really convenient and easy to think that the grass is always greener, as my dad used to say, on the top of the septic tank,” Saban said. “So players think they’re going to have a better opportunity to go someplace else, and that’s not always going to be the case. But I’m also concerned for the players that people will use these rules to get rid of some of the back end of their roster so they can improve the front end of their roster, which I don’t think is good for players either.”

Saban then referred to the issue that was first raised on Monday by SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, who said that more than 13,000 student-athletes entered the portal in general and that over 11,000 still remain. Put simply, it’s a case of musical chairs and programs don’t always have open spots for players lookin for a change of scenery.

“Then you have the issue of how do you replace with initials like this year, we could only take a couple of transfers because we’ve recruited so many players out of high school that were good players and we’re glad that we got them all,” Saban said. “So how do you replace the initials so that you bring more players to the program when you lose players out the other end, which is a bigger concern to me with some of the mid-Power 5 schools, who their best players maybe wanting to play up and some of their other players that aren’t playing will go down so how do they replace those players, and how do you continue to create opportunities for high school players. Because some of the Division I-AA and Division II schools might say we’re not going to recruit any players out of high school, we’ll just going to take transfers because they can transfer once and are going to be here the whole time. I do think there’s some consequences to all this that may not always be beneficial to the player.”