With student-athletes earning an extra year of eligibility because of COVID-19 and the blossoming name, image and likeness landscape, the men's basketball transfer portal is on pace to threaten the record number of transfers set in the 2020-21 academic year.
In that cycle, 1,832 names entered the portal. Last year, it was 1,786, and there were more than 1,800 names in the portal in the middle of July.
There's an interesting subplot to watch over the next few months, though, even with the transfer window now shut.
Earlier this spring, the NCAA sent out a memo regarding two-time transfers who aren't classified as graduate transfers. In the past, undergraduate student-athletes could apply for waivers to be eligible immediately, citing any number of reasons: a coaching change, a coach "running them off" in favor of a better player or something else. The new memo clearly states those reasons aren't going to be approved anymore. Essentially, the only acceptable reasons for undergraduate waivers will now be issues relating to mental health, physical well-being, discrimination and learning disabilities.
Some schools -- and judging by the number of two-time undergraduate transfers in the portal, some players -- are taking a cynical approach, saying, "we'll believe it when we see it" when it comes to the NCAA denying waivers to hundreds of student-athletes.
As waivers get denied or it becomes clear two-time undergraduate transfers are going to be required to sit a year, we'll explore splitting up the immediately eligible and sit-out transfers into two categories. Just like the old days ... of three years ago.
Note: The transfer window for men's basketball undergraduates closed May 11, but names will still trickle out over the following days as portal requests get processed. Graduate transfers are also able to enter the portal after May 11, since portal deadlines don't apply to them.
Last updated: October 8, 2023