Under normal conditions June is more of a laid-back month for college football. There are summer camps. There is recruiting. That's about it.
Coaches just want to get to the end of June, take some family time in July, and then come back and start getting ready for the season.
But, gentle readers, there ain’t going to be nothing normal about this June. In fact, I’ll just put it out here right now: This June promises to be the craziest, most jam-packed month in the four decades I’ve covered college football.
More simply put, college football has a helluva lot on its plate this month.
Just look at the headlines as the month begins:
**--Name, Image, and Likeness is quickly becoming an industry: All we know is this. If the NCAA doesn’t find a way to get some legislation approved to create some universal standards and some rules of the road, then a series of laws passed by individual states on NIL will kick into gear on July 1.
No one knows what that will look like. But we do know this. There are a bunch of budding companies out there waiting in the wings to offer their services to help schools and players navigate what ever NIL rules that come. They are just waiting for the starting gun.
**--Or Congress could step in. A U.S. Senate Bill currently being considered would make athletes employees of the university with collective bargaining rights. Players who collectively bargain can also go on strike. Think that might shake things up just a little bit?
**--The transfer portal is changing everything and we do mean everything: At last count there are over 1,000 people in the portal and the math says there will not be spots for all of them. And the number is only going to grow with the implementation of the rule (next season) that allows one free transfer without having to sit out a year.
“A lot of guys are going have to to drop down a level in order to find a place to play,” one FBS coach told me. “Some may never find a place to play.”
**--The SEC has a big decision to make on transfers within the conference and that could come soon. Barrett Sallee of CBSSports.com is reporting that the SEC, as soon as this week, could change its policy on transfers within the conference.
Right now a player who wants to transfer from one conference school to another must sit out a year or get a waiver from the SEC office. Commissioner Greg Sankey told Paul Finebaum a while back that this issue was going to be discussed in depth. There have been several high-profile players who have transferred within the conference this spring, the latest being former LSU tight end Arik Gilbert, who is going to Georgia. For those players to be eligible for the 2021 season the SEC would have to change its rule.
**--Because of the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes during the pandemic, there are going to be more players with college experience available than ever in the next recruiting cycle. Players on current rosters will have until May 1 next year to declare their desire to enter the portal.
What does that mean? It means that some colleges will sign fewer high school players than in the past.
Why? Because coaches will hold more roster spots open waiting for experienced players who will enter the portal after spring pratice.
**--The recruiting dead period has finally come to an end. Starting June 1, recruits were able to make on-campus visits for the first time in over a year.
“There is going to be tremendous pressure on the assistant coaches to get the recruits on campus,” said a former SEC assistant coach. “Everything has been on ZOOM for so long.”
**--The discussions about expanding the College Football Playoffs are starting to get very, very real. Later this month the 10 commissioners (plus Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick) who make up the CFP will meet with the CFP Board of Managers (11 presidents and chancellors) in Dallas.
No decisions are expected to made during that meeting but it is clear the process is moving towards expansion of the current four-team playoff, which is under contract with ESPN until after the 2025 season.
During the last set of meetings CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock made it clear that there will NOT be expansion after this season (2021) or next season (2022). But based on the reporting that’s out there expanding the field—maybe to 8 or 12 teams-IS possible after the 2023 season.
The point is that the CFP expansion discussion is just one more thing that college football has to deal with in the month of June.
Stay tuned. It’s going to be fun.