Penn State coach James Franklin calls NCAA transfer portal concerning for putting football ahead of academics
Penn State coach James Franklin was on his high horse Tuesday afternoon during his press conference. The NCAA transfer portal is a major topic for college football at the moment, and Franklin shared some of his feelings about it.
“College athletics used to be academics driven, and for us to think that any of these decisions are anything but football decisions, I don’t think it’s accurate. I think most of these decisions are being driven by football.
“The college athletics I grew up with was driven based on academics. Don’t get me wrong, the athletics experience was very, very important as well, but it was in that order. What I’m seeing right now is a little bit of a shift.”
James Franklin says NCAA transfer portal is football driven, not academics driven. Says it used to be the other way around. Calls it “concerning” pic.twitter.com/0fSHmnvfai
— Dustin Schutte (@SchutteCFB) September 3, 2019
There are many counterpoints that can be made to these comments, particularly one noteworthy fact that Franklin’s current employer doesn’t have the best of track records of not putting athletics first.
But putting that aside, it just sounds like Franklin is a little perturb he has to face Ohio State transfer quarterback Justin Fields this season. Fields earned a hardship waiver to play immediate because of an incident involving a baseball player at Georgia last year. He lost the starting job to Jake Fromm last year and left the Bulldogs after the 2018 SEC Championship Game.
Meanwhile, Penn State hasn’t landed anyone of note in the transfer portal (outside of graduate transfers).
There’s no doubt the transfer portal needs to be addressed for its inconsistencies at some point, but it’s a little naive to think young athletes coming out of high school or in college, especially football players, aren’t ranking sport right up with or ahead of academics, and that’s the way it’s been for a long time.