The transfer portal has revolutionized college football, with over 2,000 players opting to enter it during the winter window. While it appears that the portal chaos is calming down, it is by no means over.
To make the transfer portal easier to understand, the NCAA implements windows of the season. When the spring transfer portal window opens, it will provide another chance for college players to enter the portal when it reopens again.
Spring Transfer Portal
The winter transfer portal has dominated the focus of college football since December — even with bowl games happening.
The winter college football transfer portal opened on Dec. 4, 2023, and closed for entrants on Jan. 2, 2024.
This means that between then and the next window opening, there can be no more entrants – unless they meet certain criteria. It is a quiet time for transfers, with teams focusing on the upcoming spring practices.
The next time that the portal can be accessed is in the spring when a final window opens up before the end of the academic year for moves before the college season begins.
When Does the Spring Transfer Portal Open?
The spring transfer portal officially opens on Saturday, April 15, 2024, and closes on Sunday, April 30, 2024, giving just 15 days for players to enter the portal.
With only 15 days to enter the portal, the timeframe is much shorter than the winter period, and it is important to remember that a player only needs to enter the portal during those dates. Once their names are in the portal, they are free to complete their move at any time.
However, for the benefit of the team and the player, a swift conclusion is often met at the start of the upcoming regular season.
With football quickly approaching, it’s the final time before the season kicks off that players can transfer between teams. With spring practices often concluded by the time the spring window opens, it can be used by players and coaches to great effect.
During spring practices, players will get a feel for where they stand on the roster heading into the new season, and if it seems to a player that they won’t get the playing time they need, they can opt to enter the portal.
As for teams, they will have a better feel after spring practices on what positions they still need to address, which means they can focus more accurately on how the team can be improved.
What Are the Exceptions to Transfer Portal Rules?
As with any system, there are potential exceptions that can be made.
One such exception is already being used outside of the traditional windows. A 30-day window that can be accessed by student-athletes if there is a head coaching change at a program. It is a rule that has been utilized by numerous players in January from the Alabama Crimson Tide and Washington Huskies programs.
The next key rule to note is that any player who has completed their undergraduate commitments can transfer at any point.
It should also be noted that previously, a multi-time transfer would have to sit out a year, unless the NCAA granted them a waiver. The NCAA would grant a waiver if there were mitigating circumstances, such as health or hardship-related complications.
It was a complex issue and one that stung North Carolina’s Devontez Walker. However, after an NCAA injunction, a player does not have to sit out a year, as long as they have entered the transfer portal by the end of the academic year in 2024.
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