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Notre Dame in the NIL and Transfer Portal Era

Updated: May 17

Written by Liam Farrell|Senior Staff Writer|Twitter/X: @LiamFarrell_IT

Photo by: The Irish Tribune

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the average American makes $59,384 a year.


According to Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule, a good quarterback in the transfer portal costs between $1 million and $2 million.


The allegiance between the transfer portal and NIL deals has put college sports in a new, difficult situation. While college athletes are finally getting compensated for their on-field achievements, there are no regulatory practices to keep colleges from backing up the Brink’s trucks.


While Notre Dame’s Marcus Freeman has acknowledged the NIL game by getting two premier transfer portal quarterbacks in back-to-back cycles along with retooling the wide receiver and secondary rooms, the demands of the transfer portal are still not being met.


This past offseason, the Fighting Irish lost 18 total transfers, while only bringing in eight players. While four of the eight players may be at skill positions, the Irish are simply not utilizing the portal to the best of their abilities.


In recent years, southern schools with deep pockets such as Ole Miss, Louisville, and Florida State, are backed by wealthy donors and have capitalized off the new format and completely retooled their teams via the transfer portal.


Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss’s head football coach, has crowned himself the ‘Portal King’, bringing in 18 transfers that will have an immediate impact on the preseason top ten ranked Rebels.


Florida State’s Mike Norvell brought in 12 impact transfers last year that led the Seminoles to their first undefeated regular season since 2014.


Even though Notre Dame’s donors can match that of the SEC and ACC schools mentioned above, their rigorous academic requirements do not. Notre Dame’s denial to accept undergraduate students is something that will need to be modified under the new rule of athletic director Pete Bevacqua.


While maintaining Notre Dame’s prestigious academic standard is mandatory, the inability to go after a lofty recruit in the transfer portal because they will be going into their sophomore or junior year must be re-evaluated.


The current Notre Dame NIL initiative, 4 For Forever, a play on the Fighting Irish’s 4-for-40 recruiting slogan, is an effective system that must continue developing. An example of the success behind 4 For Forever is the recently struck deal between Jordan Faison and Gatorade. Faison, who has shined both on the football and lacrosse field for the Fighting Irish this year, posted his sponsorship with Gatorade this past month.

Via Jordan Faison's Instagram Account


Additionally, in recent memory, Notre Dame did a great job advertising Sam Hartman, by inking him deals with companies such as Google, Under Armor, Beats by Dre, and Rocket Mortgage.

The prominence of the Fighting Irish football program is undeniable, which could be a game changer in the new NIL world of college athletics.


The weight that comes with the University of Notre Dame can be extended to different sports, as well.  


On the hardwood, Niele Ivey got the commitment of two top transfer portal players in Marquette’s Liza Karlen and Pitt’s Liuta King to compliment an already stacked roster that features Hannah Hidalgo, Olivia Miles, and Sonia Citron.


If Notre Dame athletics could find a way to ease their transfer policies, along with tapping into their top-tier name brand; the Fighting Irish will be in the championship hunt every year across the entirety of college athletics.


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