Alabama football fans find themselves in an unfamiliar situation and fret over what Crimson Tide players will or will not play in the bowl game. Opt-out decisions may be announced as early as next week.
There are strong opinions from fans about players unsubscribing. They range from disgust to disinterest. Whether we like the new terrain of college football or not, we can all see that the players are business entities rather than folk heroes.
As it is only fair for players to benefit financially from their individual brands, it is also fair for them to protect their future value by not risking injury in an exhibition game. And like it or not, outside of the CFB Playoff Semifinals, all bowls are exhibition games.
While bowl games count in a team’s win-loss account, they count for little more. Yes, there are traditions and history of certain programs in certain shells. As Nick Saban predicted years ago, these traditions and stories are fading fast.
Alabama football fans looking for more important fear can put the opt-outs behind and get into the looming transfer portal cycle.
The NCAA. in a rare productive action, changed the rules of the transfer portal and created two windows for the transfer of athletes. For football, the windows are December 5th to January 18th, with a later window of May 1st to 15th.
Rightly or wrongly, the NCAA chose not to authorize unlimited transfers. Players who have been transferred once must still receive an exemption for immediate eligibility. The NCAA promised to be “more flexible” with waivers — whatever that means.
Alabama football and transfer portal success
Top programs like the Alabama Crimson Tide have more to gain from transfers than they have to lose. Very few major Alabama football players will look for a better opportunity. Most Alabama players choose to transfer to gain more playing time. You certainly have a right to a self-interested decision.
If playing time was the only issue then transfer debates would be minimal. But as is often the case in college football, money is a big factor. The players are basically free agents in a random environment. Common stories suggest that bidding wars and NIL deals are often the deciding factors.
Will the process ever slow down and reach a more predictable stage? Don’t count on it in the 2023 cycle. A few days ago, On3.com published a story about the next transmission cycle. Quoting an unnamed SEC official, the expectation among the programs is “total chaos.”
So Alabama football fans, don’t worry about the opt-outs and instead follow the transfer portal news very carefully. Bama hammer will try our best to help.