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How the NIL and the Transfer Portal are killing the College Basketball World


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In early 2021, college athlete's lives changed forever. They now have NIL deals. NIL means, Name, Image, and Likeness. Athletes can now make money from their names. College athletes should be paid and make money off their name, especially if the respective school is making off of them. 


Due to NIL’s deals athletes now have the freedom and power to negotiate what school they want to attend. The transfer portal has been on fire for a little over a year. This is simply ruining the world of college basketball.  

College athletes are now using the transfer portal as a free agency. One year they play for the team they committed to and another for the reigning national champions. This is a problem because players are not focused on their respective sports. They are worried about how much money they can make and their marketability.


You see this causing an effect on the college basketball world in the National D1 tournament. Since 2022 we have seen many more Cinderella teams knock off top college basketball blue-blood teams. In 2022 St. Peters University knocked off the John Calipari Kentucky Wildcats. St. Peters was a 15th seed with little to no highly scouted talent. 

 Kentucky being a blue-blood, was known for its one-and-done system. Calipari would scout top-tier 5-star talent, and make a deep championship run.  In the past five years, this has stopped. The majority that commit to Kentucky are going for the money and notoriety, causing them to lose sight of the task.


Along with the NIL deals, Kentucky would be a main attraction for the transfer portal, bringing in athletes who see playing collegiate basketball as a business move. This is one of the main reasons Calipari gets beaten by low-ranked teams almost every time. The lower-ranked schools have athletes who want to play and don’t take it for granted. 

With NILs and transferring being bad for college, it also has perks. UConn has been one of the teams that benefitted from the transfer portal. Head Coach Dan Hurley was named head coach in 2018, shortly after he returned UConn to the National Tournament in 2021 and 2022, then winning the Championship in 2023.  

He did this by building talent from the ground up, and by going to the portal, seeking talented players who just wanted to play basketball. Guard Tristan Newton was low Division one his freshman year of college, then covid-19 stopped the whole world.

He would then turn to the portal, landing a spot at UConn.  At UConn Newton would be a key factor to the 2023 championship team. Like Newton, Hurley built his team from the ground up with other players like, Cam Spencer, Adama Sonogo, and Andre Jackson, to name a few. 


The college basketball world is changed forever. NIL deals are in control of athletes and the transfer portal gives them all the power in the world.  This system needs to be revamped and changed around so the athletes can’t make all of their decisions. This is what is killing college basketball.  

Has the NIL and Transfer Portal ruined College Sports?

  • Yes, it's terrible

  • No, the players deserve to be compensated


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