Nebraska football fans should be on the alert about a new bill that probably hasn’t gotten enough attention from the general public yet. It has, however, gotten plenty of attention from Big 10 Commissioner Tony Petitti.
The commish, in fact, went so far during his opening remarks at Big Ten Media days as to thank the introducers of the bill, Senator Joe Manchin, and Senator Tommy Tuberville for trying to solve the NIL problem. While he mentioned their work on NIL, he didn’t mention that the bill also deals with the Transfer portal.
We can agree or disagree on whether the current NIL system is good for the sport. Petitti thinks it’s bad. Very bad. One could say he hates it nad not be using hyperbole. However, while the transfer portal could use some work, it doesn’t seem like it’s an area of college sports that United State Senators need to get involved in. But they’re trying to with the very bill the commish lauded.
Nebraska football should be on the lookout
The Manchin-Tuberville bill is one of two that is making its way through the senate that Petitti talked about on Wednesday. But it’s the more troublesome of the two in regards to the transfer portal.
According to The Athletic, it would severely hamper how and when players can transfer and play immediately.
"“Athletes would only be able to transfer and play right away after completing their first three years of academic eligibility. Exceptions to this would include a death in the player’s family or a head coach or position coach leaving the school.”"
That would mean that, at best, a redshirt sophomore would be the first player who could transfer and play the next year. Unless his coach was fired or there was “a death in the family.” I find that second rationale extremely weird. Does it still apply if they transfer to a place that doesn’t seem to result from the family tragedy, like at all?
Certainly, some people will claim that players transfer too much. Petitti and a few other coaches disagreed with the current portal system in wanting to protect the players’ best interests. But it’s worth pointing out that if the player wants to leave, he doesn’t need a reason right now.
If a Nebraska football player decides his current situation isn’t great, for whatever reason, he can come or go. I’d say that’s in his best interest.
There is also the fact, of course, that limiting the transfer portal is something the NCAA can do, quite easily. The organization itself is the one that opened it up.
It’s worth pointing out that organizational rules are easier to change than laws. And that’s the best reason of all to get that piece out of the Manchin-Tuberville bill, at the very least.