It's no secret that most coaches of college football hate it, or at least mistrust, the transfer portal – maybe not so much the portal itself as the idea that their players get a little more autonomy – and the Media Day is the perfect time to make these little grievances public, so everyone can learn what those assholes are guys are. Whether it's Nick Saban who sanctimoniously wants borders for players that do not exist for coaches, Dabo Swinney is openly annoyed that his wife would have left him if she had access to a transfer portal, or otherwise supportive Jim Harbaugh who raises doubts about mental health. Exemption permits make it seem physically impossible for a college football coach to come out clearly and say that gamers should change school easily if they want to. *
Washington Huskies head coach Chris Petersen is no exception. At today's Pac-12 media day, Petersen was asked about the transfer portal, and his answer was less than outstanding.
Here's the first part, transcribed:
You know, I'm an old school. I'm really. And what I mean by that, I just believe that there are a lot of harder things that we have to work through to get good things done at the end of this process. I think the portal is good if kids can go in there if they want. But I think how this thing led to where guys could just switch, and it starts to get a free hand. I do not think that's good in the first place, I do not think it's good for the kids.
I've just seen too many people, including myself, who have to deal with difficult things that might cut you off, you know, where it's easier to say, "I'm going somewhere else where I think that it's better, "and usually it is not. And I really believe that, and that's exactly my feeling.
Petersen sits on the same fence as many other coaches. He can not say that the transfer portal is bad, because it would hurt the recruiting. But he's also worried that too many college players will start using the little leverage they have to improve their unpaid jobs.
Nobody seemed to have asked Petersen the obvious follow-up question: "Do you think so? Jacob Eason, when he left Georgia for Washington? "With the completion of Jake Browning, Eason is the planned starting quarterback for the Huskies this season, after moving from Georgia to Georgia and canceling the 2018 season. Eason appeared at the UGA in 2016 as a highly regarded recruit, but suffered a knee injury in his second season and lost his place against the younger Jake Fromm, who wore the Bulldogs for the national title game. In the words of Petersen, that sounds like a "hard thing" that a guy has to "work through".
There is nothing wrong with Eason switching to his home state to find a better situation. He would not have had to sacrifice a year under a perfect NCAA (ha). What is almost unbelievable is that Eason's presence in Petersen's team still can not keep the coach from saying "transfers are alright" when asked about the portal. Instead, he saw freedom of choice as a serious problem for young adults who wanted to play football in their best school.