Since 2020, over 16,000 NCAA athletes have entered the transfer portal


Many children have entered the transfer portal since its inception.

Many children have entered the transfer portal since its inception.
picture: Getty Images

These children know their worth.

As the college sports landscape is in the midst of historical change, such as NCAA President Mark Emmert has announced his resignation no later than June 2023 – one year after his contract expired extended until 2025 – The combination of NIL and the transfer portal forever changed how a billion dollar industry based on unpaid labor works.

And at the heart of that is player empowerment, as collegiate athletes can now legally make money and be free to choose where to play. But at the same time, some of it is getting out of hand.

according to a new dashboard from the NCAA, over 16,000 college athletes jumped into the transfer portal between 2020 and 2021. It should be noted that during this period, student-athletes were granted an additional year of eligibility due to the pandemic. And when you add that NIL comes into play and college athletes now have the option to change schools without their coach’s approval, you understand why the numbers are so high.

But still, nearly 20,000 players changing schools is a lot.

According to the dashboard, 5,072 undergraduates and 1,631 graduate students packed U-Hauls in 2020. And in 2021, undergraduate enrollment grew to 6,475, while graduate students grew to 3,092. The numbers show that 76 percent of transfers come from Division I programs, 22 percent from Division II, and only 2 percent from Division III. The most interesting statistic is that the bulk of the movement occurs between March and June, which coincidentally coincides with Graduation Season, Spring Term Graduation, and March Madness.

And for all those fans hoping that a player who enters the portal will return to campus, well, according to the data, it’s a pipe dream. Only 7 percent leave the portal compared to 49 percent who register at a new school.

Check this out axiosas they broke down the 10 sports with the highest percentage of athletes entering the portal between 2020 and 2021.

The ladies:

  • Basketball: 22% (1,134)
  • Beach volleyball: 15% (167)
  • Tennis: 12% (340)
  • Volleyball: 12% (650)
  • Softball: 11% (764)
  • Soccer: 11% (909)
  • Ice hockey: 8% (63)
  • Lacrosse: 8% (317)
  • Golf: 7% (162)
  • Athletics: 6% (864)

The guys:

  • Basketball: 31% (1,692 athletes)
  • Baseball: 18% (2,126)
  • FBS Soccer: 16% (2,538)
  • Soccer: 13% (755)
  • Tennis: 13% (325)
  • FCS Soccer: 12% (1,546)
  • Ice hockey: 12% (205)
  • Lacrosse: 9% (321)
  • Athletics: 8% (905)
  • Wrestling: 8% (207)

Whoever takes on Mark Emmert has small shoes to fill given how terrible he was at his job. However, that doesn’t mean the job isn’t daunting. Aside from leading the NCAA through the NIL era, the next president’s biggest task might be finding a logistical way to enter a system that can rotate more than 16,000 college kids each year.

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