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All About the Transfer Portal

The NCAA launched the transfer portal in October 2018 as a compliance tool to systematically manage the transfer process from start to finish. There’s been a lot said about it, but there’s still a lot to learn. For that reason, UCLA’s director of player personnel, Ethan Young, joined the 33rd Team Call last week to share his thoughts on the transfer portal.

“It’s a website that colleges can log into that identifies players that have filed transfer paperwork with their previous institution,” explained Young. “And once their name goes in, all colleges have full permission to contact that athlete as soon as they appear and that contact box is checked next to their name.”

Young pointed out that 39% of the athletes in the transfer portal are graduate transfers.

“So six out of 10 guys have not graduated and have given up the opportunity to continue their previous scholarship and are at risk,” he said. “So there’s a lot of uncertainty with kids when you’re dealing with them in the portal in securing their future.”

Because of that uncertainty, Young said many undergraduate transfers might be a bit panicked. For that reason, schools looking to pick up transfers need to act fast.

“We feel like the portal’s been very productive for us,” Young said. “We’ve gone, in our opinion, about 7-for-8 in the guys we’ve added. And we keep investing more and more resources each year into it.”

In order to act fast, Young stressed the importance of evaluating lower-level players and having a plan in place.

“You have to set your board ahead of time,” Young said, “so you know , ‘Hey, this is a guy that’s an instant upgrade for us. This is a guy we like at a position of need.’”

Lastly, Young stressed the importance to nurturing a team’s high school contacts.

“You have to water your high school relationships. They are vital for coordination in the portal. The influencers – whether it be a high school coach, a 7-on-7 coach, parent or uncle – that’s all vital.

“That’s how you win. You’ve gotta set your board early, you gotta be really aggressive when they hit and you have to be able to water those seeds on the ground floor to help provide those relationships and opportunities.”

Watch the video: