Gators HC Dan Mullen Skeptical of New NCAA Transfer Waiver Rule

With a new transfer waiver process, there are plenty of questions arising among collegiate coaches, including Gators head coach Dan Mullen.
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Last week, the NCAA implemented a new transfer portal waiver rule that would allow any player to transfer one time as an undergraduate without the penalty of sitting out a year, a drastic change from the previous seasons. This would give immediate eligibility to anyone to transfer.

For example, in 2019, Gators pass rusher Brenton Cox was forced to sit out the season due to transferring from the Georgia Bulldogs. He made his debut in 2020. Under the new rule, Cox would have made his Florida debut in 2019, allowing him another year of crucial development.

While the new rule has been widely accepted by the majority of the college football world, Gators head coach Dan Mullen isn't quite sure how he feels about the rule, noting that some players may not have stuck around if the new rule was in place, along with other issues regarding scholarship numbers straight out of high school.

"So here's the issue, you have the one-time transfer. But you're also now limited to the number of initial scholarships and scholarships you can sign in a given class," Mullen began while speaking on radio station 1010XL, the new official flagship station of the Florida Gators. 

"Well, that rule is enforced by the NCAA based on high school entrances, not transfers, not with this new transfer policy. So hopefully, they're going to look at this now and say, 'Okay, we have 25, guys that can sign out of high school in a given year, you're allowed a total of 85 on scholarship, but you can trade one for one out of the transfer [portal],' it would make sense.

"If not, you're gonna start seeing there's nowhere for these kids to go to school. And guys are going to go from 85 to be playing years of down on the 70s scholarship. So it'll be kind of crazy."

The issues that Mullen presents are valid, and an important distinction between what the consequences of a massive transfer movement throughout the college football realm could be.

But it could present an opportunity for the players themselves to earn an opportunity at a new program rather than sitting on the bench for years.

Mullen's qualm, however, is what it could do to players who were able to sit back and develop such as quarterback Kyle Trask and wide receiver Kadarius Toney, two players who didn't start right away at Florida and took their time in development before becoming potential first-round players this year.

"Are they going to stick out their development? Or are they just gonna say I just need to pick up a transfer to go somewhere. That's the part that's unknown.

"And that's the uncertainty. And that would be that's the part that would be a shame that that stuff happened because I've seen so many guys grow, develop during their college career, and then move on to excel, that you would start skipping some of that development just trying to jump around to find a place where you start if that's their concern."

Time will tell what the college football landscape will look like with the new transfer waiver rules, something that combined with the transfer portal itself, could become one of the more intriguing aspects of roster management throughout college football.