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The Transfer Portal

The Transfer Portal

With the end of the college softball season coming there is a lot of talk about athletes entering the transfer portal. The transfer portal is a way for athletes to show they are looking to play at a different school by entering themselves into the portal. The transfer portal is a part of the NCAA meaning that junior colleges and NAIA do not use the transfer portal. You may be wondering what reasons an athlete would want to transfer and what that might look like. Below is a list of reasons why athletes enter the transfer portal.

  1. Playing time. This is the big one most people think of when wondering why someone would leave their team. At the college level, the best players are the ones who see the field, and even though an athlete may be an amazing player it just might not be the right fit for them. An athlete only gets 4 years to play college softball and that time should be spent on the field. 
  2. Location. When choosing a school it’s important to think about location, but some players may think this is the place they want to be but being homesick, or away from family can be very hard for some athletes. Players may decide they want to transfer to a school closer or farther from home. 
  3. Playing level. Some players try very hard to get in front of coaches to get recruited and they may have bad luck getting offers from schools they really want. If players feel like they are settled in their decision they may want to enter the portal to see what path can be opened for them. Some players may transfer to a higher level school or a lower level skill depending on what they’re looking for. 
  4. Degree. Before accepting offers for playing time a player must know that their degree is offered by the school. While a school may have your intended degree it may not be what you actually wanted. A lot of people change their majors in college and for some people that may mean changing schools. 
  5. Coaching. Coaches are not a “one size fits all” for everyone. When players choose their school they’re also choosing their coach and realistically it can be hard to tell what a coach will be like before playing for them. 
  6. Academics. Some athletes struggle with school and if you want to play you have to make the grades. Players may transfer out of an ivy league school so they can make the grades to be eligible.
  7.  Culture. Whether it’s the campus or team culture many players also want to enjoy and have fun during their college years. Teams or campuses where players aren’t enjoying their time can be a clear indicator to enter the transfer portal.
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