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What Is the Transfer Portal?

By Kayla Walker MTN Sports Reporter April 27, 2021

Athletes who play a sport in college face many challenges throughout the start of their career, but one of those challenges may involve change in scenery.

The transfer portal was established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 2018. It allows athletes who play a Division I sport to transfer once to a four-year NCAA school they’re eligible to attend.

“It’s pretty straight forward, the transfer portal has been a helpful tool to the institutions,” said Hunter Waldron, MTSU compliance coordinator. “It’s been helpful as far as it being more open to who’s going to be in the portal, whose transferring, or whereas before when you had to reach out to schools, so that’s made the leg work a lot easier for us.”

Waldron oversees half of the sports at MTSU. He deals with scholarships, eligibility, transfer portal, and anything regarding the NCAA rules and regulations.

Before the transfer portal was created, players were obligated to reach out to their coach for permission to transfer.

Compliance coordinators also did everything manual which involved physically reaching out to several players asking if schools were allowed to contact them.

“I get a list of the portal; players don’t see it but coach’s do,” said MTSU football head coach Rick Stockstill. “Every coach in America gets a transfer portal list every day.”

The portal has made it where once an athlete has been entered, coaches are informed and allowed to reach out to them.

Any athlete that decides to enter the transfer portal is not only a change for themselves but for their coach and team as well.

“It’s probably 50/50, it’s a hard decision for kids, their families, determining what to do, and I think they have to look at the academics and how close you are to your degree,” said MTSU baseball head coach, Jim Toman. “Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. They just have to shut down and judge the pros and cons and figure out what’s best for them and ill support them in whatever they decide.”

Athletes are commonly known to enter the transfer portal due to less playing time or wanting to be closer to home.

“I wouldn’t say there’s always a same, it could be to be closer to home, sometimes it's playing time, sometimes its scholarship base, where they earned a scholarship somewhere else,” said Waldron. “I wouldn’t say it's ever the same. With most athletes, it probably between athletic playing time or getting closer to home.”

The portal was designed to make the process of athletes wanting to transfer easy.


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