Portal Problems – The Basics

So all of you know that I do not love the transfer portal for NCAA softball players. You also know I am the old man who spends a lot of time yelling at the clouds and telling the kids to get off my lawn so when I talk about the reasons I don’t like the transfer portal it usually falls on deaf ears. Let’s just sum up the history lesson by saying that while I was coaching some of my greatest success stories were built around players that at one time or another were unhappy on our team.

Back then, before they transferred we, player and coach, had to talk about why they wanted to leave and, sometimes, the issues could be resolved and things moved forward in a positive way. And other times the situation was not fixable and that player chose to leave our program but at least we had the chance to talk through the issues which often was a great learning opportunity for us both.

So my biggest issue with the portal is ease with which it is accessed and the lack of interaction that has to happen before a player leaves. My other biggest issue is with the ease of transfer comes a lot of tampering with players who are already a part of another program. No one will ever convince me that many of the players entering the portal already have a landing spot lined up and that many of those arrangements are being made when the players involved should probably be spending their time and efforts on playing for the team they are on rather than planning where they will be playing next.

Of course, I understand that the reason for eliminating the meeting with their current coach is that it can be a very difficult and, in some cases, contentious conversation. I know it’s hard, but as Jimmy Dugan said, “it’s supposed to be hard, it’s the hard that makes it great” when the people involved can talk about their issues and, possible, try to resolve them. Too bad that almost never happens anymore!

Next up – Greener Grass?

Comments? Questions? Suggestions