Utah AD Mark Harlan Discusses Transfer Portal, Permanent Week 0

Dec 9, 2022, 2:01 PM

utah athletic director mark harlan stands in front of Huntsman Center...

University of Utah athletic director Mark Harlan poses for a portrait outside of the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, on Thursday, May 30, 2019. The Utah AD recently wrapped up his fourth year at the helm on the Hill.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY – Transfer portal season is here and it seems like it is a mad dash for players and coaches to better their situations.

College football is attempting to streamline the process of when players can officially leave for a new program with a transfer window – similar to what international soccer has – which is 45 days and started Dec. 5 and goes through the college football title game. Plus, there is one in the spring that starts May 1 and comes to a conclusion May 15.

Athletes are now able to transfer once without penalty.

RELATED: Four-Star Edge Rusher Hunter Clegg Flips Commitment From Stanford To Utah

There are a lot of good with players finding better situations and furthering their careers and education.

However, the portal always presents some chaos for players and coaches.

Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan joined Unrivaled to discuss his thoughts on the college football transfer window.

“I just finished up my three-year run on the football oversight [committee]. In that last six months in particular, we spent a tremendous amount of time with the calendar approach,” Harlan said. “Everything from practice to game structure and also, obviously, the recruiting calendars. With transferring opening up to a non-residency year and equalizing football and basketball with other sports that didn’t have it. We knew there would be a big influx of transfers because they don’t have to sit out.

“We need to do something to help coaches with roster management I think this 45-day transfer window is a big step forward compared to last year.”

Mark Harlan On Permanent Week 0?

Another change Harlan and college football programs are looking at is to start the college football season a week earlier so that every team plays in the current Week 0 spot that requires a waiver to play before Labor Day.

This would do a few things for the sport some good and some that could have unintended consequences. The good is that there can be an extra bye built-in and could help with player safety and allow fore more rest.

The downside is that it requires college football players to be on campus even more than they are with the season starting early and being extended.

“We are looking at Week 0, does that make sense with the upcoming [expanded] College Football Playoff,” he added. “Do we just need to get away with asking waivers for that and just perhaps start the season and give teams two byes during the season? 

“There are some real advantages to that, but also you start a week early and camp is a week earlier and that is a long year.”

College football has long been a year-round sport with an early signing period, transfers, spring football, and now the expanded College Football Playoff. There are a lot of fast-paced changes that have been implemented but now there needs to be some reshuffling to the sport to make it more efficient and enjoyable.

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Utah AD Mark Harlan Discusses Transfer Portal, Permanent Week 0