The advent of the transfer portal and opening of name, image and likeness (NIL) rules have forever changed college sports. Bill Self, coach of national champion Kansas men’s basketball, doesn’t believe the combination has worked in the sport’s best interest so far.
Self seems to agree that if coaches can jump ship on a whim, players should be able to do the same. But, he believes the idea that players can leave teams immediately to pursue more lucrative NIL deals elsewhere, or because they may not want to fight through adversity, is a bad result of the rule changes.
“I think it’s bad,” Self said Sunday, via Mark Berman of FOX 26. “In theory, it’s good—freedom of movement, all this stuff—in theory it’s good. I think sometimes it gives young people a way out without actually trying to fight through some things, but, in theory, coaches can move. In theory, kids should be able to move too, but it’s out of control right now where the reason they’re moving is because ‘I can get a bigger NIL deal somewhere else.’ I’m not sure the reason we’re moving are for the right reasons. I think they’re for reasons that sometimes wouldn’t be best for a useful life over time. Because I do think there’s something about us staying somewhere and fighting through some stuff.”
Self was asked specifically about how NIL rules play apart, and had a similar takeaway on how it impacts player movement.
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“Out of control. It is. I’m not saying bad, but I’m saying it’s … we haven’t put our arms around it yet,” Self said. “Everybody’s kind of interpreting it their own way which is totally permissible and legal within the rules. It’s changed the playing field to maybe where it’s not quite as level as what it potentially could be. But I’m all for the kids and their families benefiting from this, there’s nothing wrong with that. But once again, a kid shouldn’t transfer because he can get $50,000 more, or be told he can get $50,000 more somewhere else, and this place has actually done a very, very good job in helping develop him.”
Of course, Kansas hasn’t shied away from either aspect of the sport. This year’s title-winning roster featured a number of transfers, including key contributors like former Arizona State guard Remy Martin. The team’s official roster bios also include links for contact information regarding NIL opportunities for each player.
KU finished the year at 34–6, beating North Carolina in the national title game 72–69.
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