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Pat Narduzzi Isn’t a Fan of the Portal, or Where Transferring in College Football Is Headed



PITTSBURGH — Pat Narduzzi isn’t a fan of the college football transfer portal. The portal was implemented in October of 2018 and is used to add transparency to the entire idea of student-athletes transferring. Very soon, it’s only going to be more comfortable for the student-athletes to jump ship and try to leave their current school.

When the new one-time transfer proposal that the ACC recently jumped on board with was brought to Narduzzi after his team’s first spring practice, it sparked some interesting comments from Pitt’s head man.

“The portal is a bad thing, in my opinion,” Narduzzi said Monday.

And now, with that process of going to the portal and skating out of town on its way to become a lot easier, Narduzzi fears that things could get significantly worse with the transferring process.

“I guess it’s happening more and more,” Narduzzi added about the proposal. “I don’t make those decisions on the transfer rules. It seems like anytime we get a transfer, he gets a waiver. So, if that’s going to be the case, you just hope it doesn’t open the flood gates. It’s about 10% of the guys who go into the portal come out with something. It means 90% of the kids are getting nothing or hanging out. I think, ultimately, as a head football coach, we talk to our kids about getting degrees all the time, and if the kids are transferring, I say if your transferring, you’re probably not going to get their degree.”

Narduzzi also mentioned that it’s a lot different for guys who play other positions besides quarterback. He said that probably around “40%” of the transfers that get scholarships after leaving their original school are from that position – while mentioning Joe Burrow going from Ohio State to LSU a few years ago.

“You look at that transfer portal going around the country, and it’s ugly,” Narduzzi said Wednesday. “It’s ugly; they really should call it the ugly toilet portal. It’s not good for a lot of kids. We’ve got NFL guys that come back that could just take off and leave, and there’s going to be, you know, 40 or 50 of them that go undrafted and they should have stayed. But our guys are smart, and I think they like what’s going on. They feel like they could come back and get better.”

But Narduzzi made sure this offseason that he emphasized all of the possible outcomes to the guys that had a chance to go to the NFL, or even leave for different schools. The main guys, such as Paris Ford and Jaylen Twyman, returned to Pitt, along with guys like Patrick Jones II and Damar Hamlin. Yeah, it will probably benefit Pitt’s football program when the season rolls around, but the most critical thing in this scenario is how the future looks for the student-athletes.

But where do the guys go that realistically don’t have those high odds of making it in the NFL? Besides that, what happens when they screw up and think that there’s a better option for bettering their future at a different school?

“It sounds really good,” Narduzzi talked more on Tuesday about the process. “But I don’t think it ends up being good for a lot of kids when you look at the amount of kids that will transfer from Power Five, how many will make it back to Power Five? They don’t. They’re going down. Or they’re asking to see if they can come back here if they did go in the portal. It’s like, once you go in that portal.

“I read a lot of those articles where the kid leaves, you read through the article, and it says he’s got a chance to come back. I mean, there’s not really a chance to come back. If you do that, you open up a can of worms that you’re going to let a guy back. We’d let a guy come back if he wants to walk on, but anytime you put him back on scholarship, you let the team down. That’s what it is. I think that should be across the board: you want to jump in the portal, you’re in the portal.”


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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