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TCU’s Sonny Dykes Isn’t Complaining About NIL, Transfer Portal

  • TCU coach Sonny Dykes told reporters he thinks NIL and the transfer portal are good for the sport.
  • He said he favors rules that increase player empowerment, even if they make his job more difficult.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the year, college football coaches nationwide have lamented new name, image, and likeness, and transfer portal rules. But one of the most successful coaches this season isn’t interested in complaining.

Ahead of the CFP National Championship, TCU coach Sonny Dykes told reporters he thinks NIL and the transfer portal are good for the sport, even if they make his job more difficult.

  • Multiple coaches have complained that collectives, groups of donors and alumni who pool resources to pay players for deals, have gotten too involved with recruiting. 
  • That, combined with the ability for athletes to transfer once without having to sit out a year, has created what some coaches consider “unrestricted free agency.”
  • Alabama’s Nick Saban, for example, accused other schools of paying high schoolers with NIL deals to join their programs. “That’s not why we did this,” he reportedly said.
  • Saban also criticized transfer portal rules, saying college football shouldn’t “create circumstances where [athletes] don’t have to make the commitment and see things through.”

With TCU in the CFP National Championship, Everyone Wins

TCU’s national championship berth is already a win for multiple parties.
January 8, 2023

Dykes acknowledged that giving athletes more freedom to transfer makes it difficult to maintain a roster — and that the ability for athletes to earn NIL deals “makes things complicated.” 

But he still thinks the rules are positive overall. “It’s my job to adapt and not only keep up, but try to be in front of those changes — and to try to use every opportunity to make our team better and our program better,” he said. 

“All those things I really, truly see as positives. … It’s something, to me, that should have happened 30 years ago.”

Perhaps the power of positive thinking really does yield results. Since Dykes took over the program amid the 2021-22 season, he’s landed more than a dozen transfers, according to records from 247Sports. 

And in just one short year, Dykes was able to turn a 5-7 team into not only a Big 12 Conference title appearance but also a finalist in the College Football Playoff. 

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