NCAA Transfer Portal Nightmare Or Gold Mine?

Editor/Collegiate Baseball

The NCAA’s one-time transfer rule has turned into a nightmare for some coaches. With others, it has turned into a baseball player gold mine.

It is without a doubt one of the strangest double-edged swords baseball coaches have ever dealt with.

More than 2,000 NCAA Div. I players entered the transfer portal in 2021 after the one-time transfer rule was adopted by the NCAA Council April 15.

In essence, Division I baseball players could now transfer and play immediately at other Division I schools as long as they have not transferred before. Prior to this rule, athletes had to sit out one year as a penalty for transferring from one Division I school to another.

One of the craziest situations in college baseball history unfolded after the College World Series.

Arizona was eliminated at the CWS with two losses to Vanderbilt and Stanford.

When the Wildcats got back home to Tucson, Arizona Head Coach Jay Johnson resigned and became the new skipper at Louisiana St. Then 20 players from Arizona entered their name in the NCAA’s transfer portal before the July 1 deadline.

Only eight of the 20 ultimately returned last fall to Arizona.

Two of those players signed after being drafted in OF Ryan Holgate (second round Cardinals) and 1B Branden Boissere (third round Nationals).

Ten others transferred to NCAA Division I schools, including:

DH/3B Jacob Berry, LSU (Collegiate Baseball first team All-American in 2021 who is projected to be a first round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft).

RHP Bryce Collins, LSU

LHP Riley Cooper, LSU

INF Kyson Donahue, Hawaii

RHP German Fajardo, Kansas St.

C Kaden Hopson, Charlotte

LHP Ian Churchill, San Diego

RHP Ryan Kysar, San Diego

RHP Hunter Cope, Oregon St.

1B/RHP TJ Curd, Jacksonville

This situation left Arizona scrambling for players as free agency had now hit big-time college baseball.

The Wildcats have won four national championships in baseball over the years and qualified for the College World Series 18 times.

If this can happen to a proud baseball program like Arizona, it can happen to any university.

To read more of this story, purchase the Jan. 7, 2022 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. The story delves into what new Arizona Head Coach Chip Hale faced when he took the job as 10 players ultimately transferred after Coach Jay Johnson left to be the coach at LSU. It also explains how new Texas A&M skipper Jim Schlossnagle utilized the transfer portal to bring in nine players for the Aggies last fall.