NIL, transfer portal top topics at meeting of NCAA conference leaders

This week, Scottsdale, Arizona, is home to conversations that may help chart the course for the near future of college athletics.

Commissioners, athletic directors and coaches from four conferences — the Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and Mountain West — are holding discussions regarding changes including name, image and likeness and the rise of the transfer portal as the college sports landscape continues to shift.

“One thing that was brought up to me yesterday is, ‘What’s it like to be a first-year head coach?’ ” Oregon head football coach Dan Lanning told The Arizona Republic. “I think one thing that’s unique is that everyone’s a first-year head coach in this environment.”

NIL and the transfer portal were two of the matters addressed during the Big 12’s meeting, Baylor head football coach Dave Aranda said. Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, added that some of the main topics in each conference’s meeting include scholarship limits, the transfer portal window and the recruiting calendar.

ESPN reported Tuesday that the AFCA is advocating for two time frames in which players can enter the transfer portal.

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who previously served as the AFCA’s president, told The Republic he supports initiatives that are best for student-athletes and also protect the game.

“When you look at what the rules were set up to be, it wasn’t to be an inducement for recruiting out of high school or an inducement for transfer,” Fitzgerald said of NIL. “It seems like we landed in that spot pretty quickly, at least anecdotally… I think we got to get to the bottom of those things.”

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