Thanks to the NCAA’s transfer portal, coach Lincoln Riley was recently able to sign former Oklahoma star quarterback Caleb Williams to USC. Not surprisingly, Riley is now one of the most vocal supporters of the portal.
Funny how that works.
“I’m in favor of the transfer portal. The portal’s fine,” Riley said earlier this week on The Jim Rome Show.
Between the transfer portal and NIL, college football’s offseason now closely mirrors NFL free agency. Schools and coaches now not only have to create a winning culture, but they also have to sell that culture to their existing players or risk them enrolling elsewhere.
At the same time, a positive culture — or a creative sales pitch — can turn a school into a desirable transfer portal/free agent destination.
“One, the possibility of them leaving goes back on your culture,” Riley told Rome. “You want to create a place that’s so good that, why would these guys want to leave? They get the best of the education, the best opportunities on the field, the coaching, all of those things. So you try to make it as good as you possibly can.”
— Jim Rome (@jimrome) February 8, 2022
Riley, who basically used the coach’s version of the transfer portal to land at Southern Cal, left no doubt that he fully supports the portal, telling Rome:
“I think it’s good for the players to have an opportunity to move on and find better opportunities. I don’t like completely restricting a player where they just they can’t leave, they can’t move, they have no real opinion or no flexibility in the matter.”
Should Caleb Williams opt for “free agency” again next offseason, it’ll be interesting to see if Riley changes his mind. Hopefully, his portal opinion’s flexible.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF