The Transfer Portal, NIL, and Cuse Basketball: Where Do Fans Stand? The Transfer Portal, NIL, and Cuse Basketball: Where Do Fans Stand?

Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) —  Center Jesse Edwards and guard Joe Girard both started for Syracuse Men’s Basketball the last two seasons. Following their senior seasons at SU, both decided to enter the transfer portal, which has become a popular choice in recent years for collegiate athletes in recent years, as the NCAA in 2021 dropped its requirement for student athletes to sit out for one season after a transfer.

Among NCAA men’s college basketball players, has reported that 1,294 have entered the transfer portal at some point this year. More players could still enter the portal, with the deadline to enter the transfer portal not coming until May 11th.

While it can certainly be frustrating for fans to see their favorite players enter the transfer portal, when athletes announce their intention to enter the transfer portal, social media can get toxic.

Anthony DiNicola might be one of, if not the most, devoted and diehard fans of Syracuse sports. DiNicola is perhaps better known as the Cuse Waterboy from his popular Twitter account and gameday persona. He made note of his thoughts on athletes entering the transfer portal, and how fans process those announcements at times.

“I say it a lot but I’m a big believer in always doing what’s best for you as an individual and your family always,” said DiNicola. “We as fans, especially in the social media age, think we know so much and have become hypercritical but we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors.”


A photo of statues of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little
College athletes are also now eligible to profit off of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). This is something that was only allowed starting in 2021, and certainly not something Floyd Little, Jim Brown, and Ernie Davis were able to profit from back in their heydays.
© 2023 Curran Campbell

Where the college athletics landscape gets even more messy is when name, image, and likeness (NIL) compensation comes into play. In years past, college athletes were unable to profit off of this, but in 2021, the NCAA changed its rules to allow for it.

Of course, different opportunities exist at different schools in regards to how much an athlete could theoretically make in NIL compensation.

In Jesse Edwards’s case, he didn’t say that NIL opportunities were why the soon-to-be 5th-year center left to go to West Virginia. He did say in an ESPN interview that the NIL opportunities at WVU were a bonus.

In regards to NIL and its relationship to the transfer portal, DiNicola said that the situation has gotten a bit out of control.

“I think the biggest issue too is that they (the NCAA) opened up Pandora’s box with no real plan in place,” said DiNicola. “Like so many of our institutions they are trying to be reactive rather than proactive.”

Tyler Terramiggi, another Cuse fan, said he would like to see more structure in the NIL world in regards to transferring athletes.

“I’d like to see it more structured towards sponsorship deals, mem signings, etc. after the kid has committed,” said Terramiggi. “Incentivizing schools to build an infrastructure and base to which kids can monetize rather than boosters throwing money at kids, which it largely feels like right now.”

To say college athletics is a big industry would be an understatement.

With thousands of fans at venues across the country filling seats.

And those fans are very much invested here in Syracuse.

Which has a proud athletic tradition here in Central New York.

And perhaps no program at SU is more well known than men’s basketball.

But even a program of its size is not immune to players entering the transfer portal.

With key players Jesse Edwards and Joe Girard leaving the program.

The Orange added some players out of the portal as well in JJ Starling and Chance Westry.

But one thing that’s for sure is that the times are certainly changing.

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