No, Transfers Aren’t Making The Sky Fall

No, Transfers Aren’t Making The Sky Fall


I’m sure you know the story of “Chicken Little,” where Henny Penny runs around town warning everyone that, “The sky is falling.” In reality it was just an acorn that dropped from a tree and hit him on the head.

That seems an apt parable for the college athletic world when it comes to the transfer portal.

Coaches, administrators and fans alike all are screaming.

“The sky is falling!!! The sky is falling!!!

Transfers and the portal through which many come have certainly gotten a lot of attention in recent months. The portal is still relatively new, as it was just became operational last October, and new often creates fear.

But is the sky really falling?

I don’t have the time or energy to dive into a nationwide study of the subject, but I can definitely do a microcosm of the transfer phenomena in terms of how it is affecting West Virginia University football.

Those former Mountaineers who entered the transfer portal since the end of last season have certainly created a great deal of news in these parts, especially when three WVU safeties – Kenny Robinson, Derrek Pitts and E.J. Brown – hit the portal within the space of a couple days in early June. Those three on top of the previous five scholarship underclassmen who since last season declared their intentions to leave West Virginia – center Matt Jones, wide receiver Marcus Simms, defensive lineman Tyrese Allen, wide receiver Dillon Spalding and corner Jordan Adams – brought near panic from some.

But is there reason for panic?

History is usually a good indicator of what is a new problem and what is a common occurrence.

And history tells us this year’s departure volume from West Virginia’s football program is far from being extraordinarily high right now. In fact, it’s basically right in the middle of the exodus rate in comparison to others in the past six years.

Not counting those underclassmen who left early for the NFL Draft (David Long, Daryl Worley, Wendell Smallwood and Shelton Gibson) or walk-ons, WVU still shows a slightly higher average annual attrition rate in the recent past in comparison to this year. This takes into account those non-senior scholarship football players who departed the program before using up their eligibility, going back to 2013.

After the 2018 season, WVU has seen nine scholarship underclassmen leave, as on top of the eight transferring, junior linebacker Brendan Ferns also retired from football because of injury.

Certainly the reasons for each departure varies, as discipline, academics and health factor in, but for most, it’s a transfer for a chance at more playing time elsewhere.

So the post-2018 departure number is nine.

That number was 15 following the 2017 season – Jacquez Adams, Chris Chugunov, Fontez Davis, Jaleel Fields, Jalen Harvey, David Isreal, Lamonte McDougle, Ray Raulerson, Reggie Roberson, Ricky Rogers, Alec Shriner, Adam Shuler, Collin Smith, Kevin Williams and Jonn Young.

After the 2016 season, there were nine – Dontae Angus, Rob Dowdy, Jovon Durante, Michael Ferns, Marcell Lazard, Cody Saunders, Jah’Shaun Seider and Steven Smothers, plus Josh Lambert, who left the team in mid-season.

After the 2015 season, there were seven – Amanii Brown, Daejuan Funderburk, Larry Jefferson, Jacky Marcellus, Donte Thomas-Williams, Russell Haughton-James and Garrett Hope

After the 2014 season, there were nine – Andrew Buie, Vernon Davis, Dustin Garrison, Malik Greaves, Paul Millard, Jaylon Myers, Brandon Napoleon, Tyree Owens and Lamar Parker

And after the 2013 season, there were 12 – Imarjaye Albury, Travis Bell, Dante Campbell, Ronald Carswell, Ford Childress, Trevor Demko, Korey Harris, D’Vante Henry, Will Johnson (from Minnesota), Isaac McDonald, Tyler Tezeno and Avery Williams

I could go back further, but you get the point. Transfers are not a new phenomena, far from it.

The transfer portal definitely draws public and media attention to all those who enter, but history tells us that transfers are not new. The transfer portal doesn’t create the departures; it just highlights them. That’s certainly the case at West Virginia, which averaged 10.4 departures per year from 2013-17 and has seen nine departures this year.

And while the Mountaineers are losing some, they are also adding as well. This year Neal Brown’s program is bringing in seven new transfers, so while WVU is taking a hit – admittedly the losses of starters like Marcus Simms and Kenny Robinson hurt the most – you gain some and you lose some.

The biggest lesson to be learned is that the sky is not falling. Transfers, like acorns, continue to drop at the same rate now as they used to.

Home forums No, Transfers Aren’t Making The Sky Fall

This topic contains 21 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  irishladdy .

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  • #92728

    No, Transfers Aren’t Making The Sky Fall I’m sure you know the story of “Chicken Little,” where Henny Penny runs around town warning everyone that, “T
    [See the full post at: No, Transfers Aren’t Making The Sky Fall]

    #92729

    Nice work Greg. Everyone who has been on any sort of team knows that culture and chemistry play a big part in success. The inspiration for a group of  individuals to move in the same direction is predicated upon one’s ability to adapt to change, and I don’t just mean a change in leadership . Many times any change in people, process or culture causes one to reassess his own position, opportunity, security and comfort and change provides a vehicle to exit whether voluntarily or otherwise. It is then incumbent on those who remain to buy into the vision, create small short term wins, celebrate those wins, and translate them into bigger and bigger wins. Usually a good leader can make that happen. Stand by.

    Happy Fathers Day

    #92730

    Now, if memory serves, some of the young men who put their names into the portal have not found landing places as of yet.

    What happens if they don’t find a landing place?  Is the outcome different for different sports?

    At some point if just feels that the NCAA is going to have to address this transfer issue and allow schools to replace departures that find a new landing place with a transfer in.  I would think you would have to put the caveat in that the departure has to be active some place else to help cut down on abuse of the system.

    #92731

    a first impression from just a casual fan is that the departures this year, as a group and relative to the other years cited, are generally a bit more talented.  If the numbers are similar it still seems like the impact will be greater.

    #92737

    Now, if memory serves, some of the young men who put their names into the portal have not found landing places as of yet.

    What happens if they don’t find a landing place?  Is the outcome different for different sports?

    At some point if just feels that the NCAA is going to have to address this transfer issue and allow schools to replace departures that find a new landing place with a transfer in.  I would think you would have to put the caveat in that the departure has to be active some place else to help cut down on abuse of the system.

    Players who enter the portal can be broght back by their original school, but that is totally at the option of the school. Once a player enters the portal, the choice to return is out of the player’s hands.

    Agreed on your final point. It would seem that transfers, expecially those with multiple years of eligibility remaining, should be allowed to be replaced and not count against the 25 per year limt.

    #92752

    So we’re saying because we have had an ongoing rash of
    departures in the past its ok to continue the practice today? What’s missing here is what were the consequences of the
    departures in years following in terms of team success !?
    And what will it be this year?
    Will Chicken Little come to roost?

    #92754

    I totally agree.  I also disagree when one believes a player that transfers should be penalized.

    Too often transfers are pushed out the door for one reason or another and should not be penalized for transferring unless it’s transferring into a sister school, or within their conference.

    I especially believe that because when an athlete signs his LOI, he signs for one year only.  So, after the one year, the school if they so wish can bid that player adieu.  So, if a player is forced out, why should he be penalized?

    I firmly believe that any student-athlete if he so desires should be allowed one transfer without any penalty unless he transfers within the conference that he currently belongs to.  For those players to keep honesty involved they should be required to sit out a year unless he is a graduate of the school that he is leaving.  Graduates should have no penalties attached to their choice of schools.

    #92770

    Tony, I agree with you.  Just because we’ve lost players in the past doesn’t make losing 9 this year OK.  There are at least 5 that would be starters or get major playing time.  In prior years most of those players were buried in the depth chart.  Not the case this year. Portal has made it much easier for players to leave.  In the past we haven’t seen the rash of better players leaving for “greener” pasture.  It definitely has made the Grad Transfer much easier.

    Eugene.  I understand your stance on immediate play time for all.  But that would be a disaster for many teams.  Think of what this would do to the G5 schools and most of the schools at the bottom of the P5 conferences.  Great players (FR & SO) transferring at will could decimate these programs.  You would have the Blue Bloods poaching players and not have to worry about them sitting for a year.  If you don’t think that “recruiting” from other teams wouldn’t happen, you need to take off your blinders.

    There are unintended consequences because of the portal now.  Just think of the problems that would arise if all players could transfer without sitting any time they want for any reason.  Be careful what you ask for.

    #92776

    So we’re saying because we have had an ongoing rash of
    departures in the past its ok to continue the practice today? What’s missing here is what were the consequences of the
    departures in years following in terms of team success !?
    And what will it be this year?
    Will Chicken Little come to roost?

    There’s no way to definitively say what the effect of a transfer is on the team that he left. Even if he was going to play, as Pitts and Robinson certainly were, maybe they would have gotten injured or continued to run afoul of rules and not be on the field. Or maybe their negative effects would have more than counteracted their contributions. Or maybe they would be All Americans. We just don’t know for sure.

    Now, this does hurt WVU in terms of depth a lot. That’s a clear negative for WVU. But is establishing the parameters of what won’t be tolerated a bonus?

     

    #92804

    Are you suggesting that some of these kids were “asked” to enter the portal because they weren’t following tolerated parameters?   Losing 4-5 players that would either start or get significant pt this year is a hit no matter what the negative consequences of their actions in the locker room were.  Long term you have to set guidelines and stick by them.  Short term it still hurts.  If so, it may cost us a few games this year that we could have won.  Long term it makes us better ……. we hope.

    #92829

    I don’t think that all players being asked to leave, or perhaps was told by the coaches they could keep their scholarship but due to more advanced players likely wouldn’t see the field is not conducive to keep him from transferring.

    I personally wonder why three or four Mountaineer players transferred this year.  They appeared to be well satisfied to be a Mountaineer.

    We will probably never know why some of those players transferred.  But, I suspect that some didn’t leave voluntarily.

    #92830

    I believe that players should have to meet certain academic standards, including progress toward their degree, to be allowed to transfer without penalty. Otherwise, they sit out the transfer year as it has been in the past.

    #92831

    Good point Nicky.  IMO if there is an academic threshold without penalty it should be significantly higher than just progressing toward a degree.  If a player is barely making it and wants to transfer, sitting 1 year would be good so he could get his grades up and continue toward his degree.   If he is say a Deans List student then he should be rewarded by not having to sit.

    That being said, I’m still not a big fan of transferring without penalty.

    #92901

    Nick, I have to agree that a player who is failing school or has acts of less than good citizenship should not be allowed to transfer without penalty.  These players should if allowed to transfer, should sit out one school year.  In addition, all school records should be sent to the new school.

    But, IMO, more players transferring are doing so for reasons not involving failing grades or poor citizenship.  These players should not be penalized as long as they transfer outside their present conference.

     

    #92904

    So we’re saying because we have had an ongoing rash of
    departures in the past its ok to continue the practice today? What’s missing here is what were the consequences of the
    departures in years following in terms of team success !?
    And what will it be this year?
    Will Chicken Little come to roost?

     

    I don’t think he’s saying that at all.  I think he’s saying you would be hard pressed to find any period of time in program history without attrition similar or worse to this, it’s just the transfer portal has made it more newsworthy where previously players leaving under the cover of darkness were footnotes on spring or summer articles few read.

    One other thing to note is you are comparing this offseason which is during a coaching change to a five year period of somewhat coaching continuity under DH.

    I think I made this exact Hunter argument last week in a thread responding to an article by Kevin where I said people were being a little dramatic about the transfer portal and it practically shuttering programs…

    #92939

    It seems to me that transfer portal coverage by sports media is much more prevalent this season than last. Or maybe it’s just that my perception is clouded because we have so many leaving. I just don’t recall this much attention being paid to transfers.

    #92944

    IMO this season is much different.  It’s not the amount of transfers, but the quality of kids leaving.  When was the last time we had 5 guys leave the system that would be either starters or get major pt.  Losing the top WR’s hurt.  Losing the top 3 S’s hurt.  Losing the rest OL, DL, CB, WR even if it’s depth hurt.

    In the past we didn’t have these types of defections.  Usually it was for grades, lack of PT or even behavior.  ALL (almost all, IMO 7 of 8) of these guys would have seen the carpet for significant minutes.

    Make any excuse you want.  But the facts are that we have lost a significantly higher percentage more players that would highly contribute this year than any other year in the past.

    #92949

    WHY?!!!!

    The almignty question that is SO elusive on just about every occurance

    involving WVU athletes! The generic discussions are absolutely worthless

    Without the facts! All we have Is conjecture! And being admonished for

    asking by those in the know is insulting!

     

    #92959

    Some players don’t like change. They move on. Others don’t like competing for the spots again. They move on. Nobody will ever know the real reason somebody leaves. WVU is not the only school that has players transfer. Starters or not.

     

     

    #92991

    WHY?!!!!

    The almignty question that is SO elusive on just about every occurance

    involving WVU athletes! The generic discussions are absolutely worthless

    Without the facts! All we have Is conjecture! And being admonished for

    asking by those in the know is insulting!

     

    You might want to try decaf.

    Each case is unique.  Some transfer because of the coaching changes, some transfer because of grade issues, and some transfer because their girlfriend left them.

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