Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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NIL and transfer portal challenges junior college athletes futures

Emily Maciel
Athletes abuse the NIL and transfer portal for money.

Since the NCAA changed the transfer portal rules in 2021 and with the addition of Name, Image, and Likeness deals, the portal has since exploded with college football athletes withdrawing from their schools in the hope of finding a new home.

However, these players aren’t transferring for a better opportunity, they’re transferring for more money.

The people being affected by this the most are junior college athletes. Junior college football is a way for players to get a second chance.

Former national champion quarterback Cam Newton is one of few former and current NFL players who have benefited from junior college.

Newton attended Blinn College in Brenham, Texas after his time at the University of Florida before transferring to Auburn University and becoming a national champion.

With the new rule change of not losing a year of eligibility when transferring has caused players at the four-year level to transfer unlimited amounts of times with zero consequences.

Legally a college cannot pay a player, however, when a third party comes into play technically the college isn’t paying the player, so there are plenty of loopholes in the system.

Along with the addition of NIL, it has caused players to transfer to look for more money. It doesn’t matter if they are a key contributor to their team or they played in one game-they can transfer.

Just under 1,500 football players entered the portal in 2023 and that number is still growing.

So, how do prospects slip through the cracks? The attention that they had before has shifted to the transfer portal players instead of the junior college athletes.

About 130 junior college football players signed with universities in 2018. In 2021 that number was at an all-time low at 45.

A comprehensive analysis by Texas Christian University recruiting intern Trevor Reed found at least 65 junior college players committed to power five programs in the current cycle, but that’s still nearly a 50% dip in junior college athletes going this level from the pre-portal era.

These colleges are just recycling players who transfer looking for money and will do it again in a heartbeat. Look at Quinshon Judkins for example, Judkins was in the All-SEC first team in 2023 for Ole Miss.

Just days after Ole Miss defeated Penn State in the Peach Bowl, Judkins entered the transfer portal for no apparent reason, but only to benefit from a larger NIL deal.

One writer Shannon Terry said, “I suspect he is asking 2-3x his value.” On3 currently has his current value at $535,000.

The transfer portal should be used for better things. Things like players looking to get more playing time or a Division 2 player getting the opportunity to go Division 1, not a total money grab.

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About the Contributors
Dillon Laurer, Staff Writer
Dillon Laurer is a staff writer for Talon Marks. He enjoys playing & watching sports, playing video games, cooking and working on cars. He also plays football at Cerritos College and hopes to transfer in May.
Emily Maciel, Co-Sports Editor
Emily Maciel is the Co-Sports & Co-Social Media Editor for Talon Marks as she returns for her second semester with the newspaper. She is in her third season of working for the Los Angeles Angels as well as her second season with the Cerritos College baseball team. She plans to transfer to a University for the Fall 2024 semester and work for the MLB one day.
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