UConn's Geno Auriemma Says Transfer Portal Is a 'Mess': Some Kids Are 'Delusional'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2021

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - APRIL 02: Head coach Geno Auriemma of the UConn Huskies calls out to players against the Arizona Wildcats during the second quarter in the Final Four semifinal game of the 2021 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at the Alamodome on April 02, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

UConn head women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma spoke out against the transfer portal system in college sports Wednesday.

According to ESPN's Harry Lyles Jr., Auriemma said: "It was gonna be a mess from the beginning, and it's a mess now, and it's going to be a bigger mess each and every year. A lot of these kids are delusional. You know, they have so many voices in their ear."

Auriemma took issue with the fact that there are 1,000 college athletes in the transfer portal, 200 of which haven't been contacted by another school and won't be returning to their previous school.

The 11-time NCAA women's basketball tournament-winning coach also expressed his belief that there is a double standard, noting that it is OK for a player to transfer without a concrete reason, while coaches can't revoke a scholarship for poor performance.

Auriemma added:

"There's something wrong with the recruiting system, there's something wrong with the culture of college basketball today, there's something wrong with the entitlement that happens to exist today.

"And there's something wrong with this idea of, you know, student-athlete welfare, that everything should be done to accommodate the student athlete, with no regard whatsoever, to the coaches who work their ass off, to recruit these kids in the first place, work with them, help them get better, make them the player that they are. And then they up and leave with no consequences whatsoever."

Transferring is easier than ever in college sports, as the requirement to sit out a season before playing for a new school has been eliminated for first-time transfers.

That has led to the transfer portal being flooded with players in every major sport during every offseason, and that has been the case with women's basketball as well.

While Auriemma isn't against the elimination of having to sit out for a year, he feels significant issues have led to the influx of transfers:

"But 1,000 kids? One thousand, it's unbelievable. And now, it's, you know, with the one time transfer, not having to sit out. Don't get me wrong, I don't disagree. I think it's great. But there's got to be something wrong with the culture if it's this bad. On both ends—on the kids, and then the coaches—there's got to be something wrong."

Since UConn is among the top teams in women's college basketball on a yearly basis, it tends to attract many of the top recruits.

That can make it difficult for players on the lower part of the roster to get playing time, resulting in some transfers.

Per Lyles, sophomore guard Anna Makurat and freshman guard Autumn Chassion both entered the transfer portal following the 2020-21 season.

Auriemma also used the transfer portal to his advantage, though, landing forward Dorka Juhasz from Ohio State.

UConn has not won a national title since 2016, but it has reached the Final Four every year since then, and with reigning Player of the Year Paige Bueckers returning for the 2021-22 season, the Huskies will be among the top picks to win it all.