Kentucky Athletic Director Looks Foolish While Directly Contradicting Himself With Transfer Portal Frustrations

Kentucky Running Back Ray Davis transfer portal

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University of Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart was entirely inconsistent with his most recent comments about the transfer portal in college football. His messaging didn’t add up and it made him look pretty foolish.

The NCAA first launched “the transfer portal” in 2018 as a way to manage and facilitate the process for student-athletes who seek a move between member institutions. It has always had an impact on the landscape of collegiate athletics, but there are a myriad of issues when coupled with NIL and the blanket waiver granted to all athletes during the COVID-19 season made it even more chaotic.

In Division I, 20,911 student-athletes entered the transfer portal in 2022. That was a 3,000(ish)-athlete increase an increase over the 2021 total of 17,781.

Although it is happening with every sport, basketball and football are seeing the most chaos. Especially the latter.

Breakout stars at smaller programs are being offered large sums of NIL money to hit the portal and transfer to another program. Tampering is rampant within the sport.

The transfer portal has become an integral part of success in college football. Teams without big bankrolls are unable to find as much success in the recruiting space, and the portal allows them to capitalize on second-hand talent— for lack of better phrasing.

It has also made a huge difference for first-year head coaches. Deion Sanders and G.J. Kinne flipped Colorado and Texas State’s rosters on their heads through the portal. Both teams pulled off strong wins over heavy point favorites in Week 1.

All of this goes to say that the transfer portal is now a key component to college football.

Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart is frustrated.

With all of the good of the transfer portal, there have also been quite a few issues. Among them, according to Barnhart, is an inability to create culture within a locker room.

However, just 10 minutes later, Barnhart completely contradicted himself. Running back Ray Davis scored two touchdowns in his debut for the Wildcats on Saturday after transferring from Vanderbilt.

Barnhart praised Davis, a transfer, for his leadership.

Got that?

Barnhart is adamant that the transfer portal creates culture issues. He also commends one of the players that transferred-in for leading the culture.

Both of those statements can run in parallel to some extent, but there is a direct conflict between them. Seems silly to stand on both sides.