David Shaw and Stanford to possibly utilize the transfer portal and NIL collectives more
While programs like USC are able to go from bottom feeder to national contender in a calendar year thanks to adding 33 players from the portal, Stanford doesn’t have that same luxury. The university is one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, and home to one of the lowest acceptance rates in America.
Even with the prestige and low acceptance rate, it is not impossible for athletes to transfer in. We saw safety Patrick Fields transfer in from Oklahoma this offseason as a graduate transfer, and if Stanford wants to actually compete in football like they did in the 2010’s something needs to change. Stanford is in the midst of their third sub. 500 season in the past three years, and with David Shaw on the hot seat it is no secret that the football program is at a crossroads with decisions to be made that will impact the future and success of the program for years to come.
Shaw addressed the method’s of Lincoln Riley and USC when it came to the transfer portal and NIL methods after Stanford’s Week 2 loss to the Trojans, and expressed his views as a college football traditionalist, but now with his back to the wall it appears Shaw has changed his tune a bit. While Stanford has never technically been opposed to fishing for transfers and marketing the NIL possibilities, it isn’t something that the program is absolutely known for. The program prides itself on being one of the best schools in the world with a great athletic history, but unless they are able to join the rest of the country in the modern world in some capacity, they will not be a competitive program.
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When speaking to the media ahead of the BYU game, Shaw addressed a handful of things, but what stood out the most to me was his newly found stance on the transfer portal and NIL.
These “conversations” are a couple years too late, as rather than just sitting back to see what happens Stanford should have been making moves as soon as possible. Shaw has made it clear that Stanford’s appeal is a world class education and a rich history of success, but the fact the program is just now considering these two vital aspects of college football shows how far behind they are. Now, it is evident that by him saying this, that the first “Stanford people will want to come here anyway” method is not good enough.
On the NIL front there is surely money to be had in the Bay Area, and while they do not need to be promising players compensation packages like certain programs in Texas, it can be an additional pitch to recruits. In terms of transfers, the portal officially opens up on December 5, and there will be hundreds, if not thousands of names entered into the data base. Stanford may need to put in some actual work when it comes to finding those that can transfer in rather than waiting for them to come.
Obviously Stanford will not be able to bring it into top rated transfer classes, but if you take a peak to next season’s roster it will be full of inexperienced players sliding into starting roles. Having as many quality players transfer as possible while still holding that academic prestige is everything this program needs.