The SMU football team is currently undefeated and ranked 16th in the nation. As college football fans know, the SMU program was given the death penalty during the mid-1980s for numerous NCAA violations. For over 39 years, the SMU football program suffered severely from that penalty and each year brought the school another losing season. Due to this fact, the NCAA has never given another school the death penalty. It is somewhat surprising that SMU just did not abandon its football program all together, but they did not and remained persistent.
Recently the NCAA revised their transfer rules for athletes. Prior to the revision, an athlete could not transfer and play without first sitting out a year. The exception applied to athletes who had already graduated and remained eligible. The newly revised regulation now allows the athlete to enter the transfer portal and move to another school where he or she can immediately play. If a top athlete is not playing at their desired school, for whatever reason, they can enter the portal, transfer to their school of choice, and receive immediate playing time. Perhaps no other school has benefitted more from this new rule than SMU’s football team, which has received more than 30 transfers. Most of the players relocated from top schools, including the University of Alabama and the University of Texas. All wanted an improved opportunity to play and showcase their talents. The new ruling is certainly a win-win for SMU and other schools, including the University of Oklahoma, which is now potentially hosting a third consecutive Heisman Trophy quarterback.
So, the question is, if the NCAA can modify their “pigeonholed” rules, is it possible that wholesalers can/will create a transfer portal for brands who want out? Unless a state has a buyout provision in their franchise statues, a vendor cannot leave under any circumstance. Even when a distributor decides to sell their business, there can be numerous restrictions for a vendor who desired to pass the buyer on to another distributor. A wholesaler has the right to obtain fair market value for their efforts in developing a brewery; however, a vendor should also have the right to choose its preferred wholesaler. All parties should be able to work through such issues without threatening letters or correspondence from lawyers. In many instances such letters only serve to aggravate progress and potentially cause undo delays.
Is the college transfer portal changing the landscape of athletics? Probably not yet, but it has given many athletes the opportunity for another chance. Perhaps brands and breweries should be given this same opportunity?
Every team feels they are better after the transfer.