Transfer portal changing journey for many college athletes

Transfer portal changing journey for many college athletes

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The journey for a college athlete sometimes involves more than one university. For thousands of athletes, the search for the perfect opportunity may lead them to transfer. 

"Just because you're really talented you can't just come to your next team and take over. It's a process," Texas Tech men's basketball coach Chris Beard said. 

Texas Tech's Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens are familiar with the process. Mooney had stops at Air Force and South Dakota, while Owens played at Tennessee and St. Johns. 

"You gotta go through the whole recruitment process over again and everyone transfers for different reasons," Owens said. "If you're transferring because you didn't pick the right situation the first time it could be hard to pick the right situation the second time. It's hard to figure out sometimes but as long as you're grounded and ready to work, situations will work out."

Last October, the NCAA implemented the transfer portal. The student informs his or her school of their desire to transfer and that school is required to put their name in the database. Once the student's name appears, other schools are officially allowed to reach out and begin recruiting the athlete. 

Under prior rules, the student had to get permission to contact other schools from their current university. If they transferred without permission, they wouldn't be able to receive scholarship the next year. 

Brian Shannon, the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for Texas Tech, was part of these discussions in crafting the national platform. He says the motive behind it was simple; protect the athletes best interest. 

"Let the young man or woman continue his or her education at another school and receive scholarship help if that second school is willing to do that," Shannon said. 

Keith Patterson, Texas Tech's defensive coordinator, believes it's an upgrade for athletes and coaches. 

"It's almost like free agency," Patterson said. "It's a new dynamic and I don't know if they realized what it would turn into. We go through spring football and maybe there is a deficiency in a certain area that we may not have been expecting, we can address it."

Shannon said it's too early to assess data from athletes and coaches who have used the portal, but he expects transfer numbers to increase in the coming years. 

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