NIL Leads to Transfer Portal Chaos

By Tim Mackey | January 27, 2023

In just the first ten days of the college transfer portal being open this year, over 1600 football players entered to move to another school. Although the portal closed on the 18th of January, we are now able to see the effect that NIL had on college athletes deciding to enter the transfer portal before it opens back up on May 1st for a 15-day period.

According to ESPN, the University of Michigan and the University of Oklahoma have been two of the most active universities in the college football portal this year. Michigan added former ASU offensive lineman LaDarius Henderson and former Nebraska linebacker Ernest Hausmann, while Oklahoma has added previous South Carolina TE Austin Stogner and ex-Indiana Hoosier linebacker Dasan McCullough. It’s no secret that Michigan and Oklahoma are two of the biggest football programs in college football, but how are they landing top players over the defending National Champs in the Georgia Bulldogs and the University of Alabama?

The answer is NIL.

The University of Michigan and the University of Oklahoma only trail Texas A&M in the nation when it comes to NIL valuation per player, sitting around $65,000 and $64,000, respectively. Georgia follows in 4th at $56,000, and Alabama in 5th at $52,000. Michigan and Oklahoma have taken advantage of the new NIL regulations to help land big-time players.

TCU Benefits from Embracing NIL

TCU is an excellent example of how a team can benefit from embracing NIL and using it as the focus to bring in transfers. Sonny Dykes, the head coach for the TCU football program, acknowledged that the transfer portal and new NIL regulations have made his job more challenging to maintain a roster. However, unlike many of his coaching peers, Dykes believes these changes are positive for college football and the athletes.

Coach Dykes took over as head coach for TCU before this past season. TCU welcomed several transfers before the season started, and “had [they] not been able to add those 13 transfers, you know, [they] would have been in trouble defensively,” Dykes stated. The portal offered an immediate impact for TCU as they went from a 5-7 record in 2021 to a College Football Championship appearance this past season.

TCU is an attractive destination for many athletes as it has been a leading NIL university. Over two years before the new NIL regulations were set in place, TCU started working to create an infrastructure to help their student-athletes navigate this new world of NIL. In just the first year of NIL, over a third of TCU athletes were signed to NIL deals. Madi Cole, who plays volleyball for TCU, stated that after some of the information she has learned through TCU’s NIL program, Cole was able to secure herself a 5 figure NIL deal.

No matter where your team ended last season, you have a chance for your favorite university and teams to be at the top next season. The answer is through NIL. Supporting the athletes through their various NIL opportunities, like NextName, creates an opportunity for the team to attract top recruits and transfers.

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