Today is National Signing Day.
Schools are still filling out their respective 2019 classes. For most, though, their classes are mainly filled thanks to the Early Signing Period. Penn State is a bit different, though.
The Nittany Lions have been hit hard by one of the newest features in the world of college football: The NCAA transfer portal. Players could always transfer from one program to another. That hasn’t changed.
What has changed, however, is the ease of which a player can switch schools. Before, they needed to ask their current school’s permission. As of October 2018, players didn’t have to ask permission. They can now just tell their current school that they want out.
Two days later, that school has to have that player’s name submitted into the NCAA transfer portal, which is a database of athletes looking to transfer.
On Wednesday, Penn State coach James Franklin addressed his school’s unique situation regarding the newer rule since it has affected the Nittany Lions quite a bit heading into the 2019 season. As of late January, 18 different players on Penn State rosters in 2017 or 2018 were listed in the portal.
Franklin on PSU's numerous transfers: "Our situation is a little bit different than most because we have such a large number of guys who graduate early." Said he's more concerned about the rules as a whole for CFB as it's creating a path of least resistance.
— Audrey Snyder (@audsnyder4) February 6, 2019
More from Penn State coach James Franklin: "'I worry about the direction this is going. At some point, the model’s going to break. And I’m concerned about that. I want what’s best for the players, colleges and universities and I want what’s best for our game. "
— Mark Wogenrich (@MarkWogenrich) February 6, 2019
Franklin’s worried that this is only the beginning of it all. And, he’s probably right. After all, this is the first offseason in which this new rule for players seeking to transfer is in effect.
Penn State may be getting hit hard now and other programs will likely feel it sooner than later as well. The 2019 Penn State team has to fill a lot more holes to fill than Franklin probably anticipated just a few months ago.