ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia football legend David Pollack is all about student-athletes’ rights, but he’s no fan of the current application of the NCAA transfer portal.
“I think the people at the NCAA need to have some more consistency,” Pollack, the most decorated UGA defensive player in history, told DawgNation. “The transfer thing drives me nuts.
“I’m more about stay and fight, so Justin Fields, I don’t get that,” Pollack said. “I get that Jake Fromm is really good, but I’m the type of person, I never thought about running from competition. I always thought about competing and getting better, so I think it’s kind of a strange situation.”
Fields, the 5-star prospect who transferred to Ohio State after backing up Fromm at quarterback last season, was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA.
Pollack, a sure-fire College Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2020 who was a three-time All-American and two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year, isn’t clear on how some players are gaining immediate eligibility after transfers, and others aren’t.
“Fields versus Luke Ford, guys that were at Georgia, what determines who gets it (immediate eligibility)?” Pollack said. “Somebody’s family is sick (Ford’s grandfather), or somebody has a reason to go back home and they get a ‘no,’ and somebody else that doesn’t really have a reason gets a ‘yes.’ That drives you nuts for the kids.
“Some people get waivers, some people don’t, and it makes absolutely no sense.”
Ford recently lost an appeal for immediate eligibility, despite being represented by highly acclaimed attorney Thomas Mars.
Pollack, a popular member of the ESPN College GameDay crew, wants to see the NCAA standardize its transfer policy.
“The rules of the transfer portal are either concrete or they’re not, they are X, or they are Y,” Pollack said. “There’s always going to be a stipulation, there’s always going to be a reason, so I would love to see more consistency from the NCAA.
“Or,” Pollack suggested, “make it judiciary, where it could be voted upon. It just seems they pick and choose who they want to help.”
Pollack said he’s fine with graduate transfers gaining immediate eligibility.
“Graduate transfers don’t bother me at all, because it means that person stayed and got their degree and they fought for a little while, they fought for their team for years, they worked hard, and they tried,” Pollack said.
“Maybe they’re in a situation where they need to go somewhere else, like Jalen Hurts. Is that not a perfect situation to be in the transfer portal? I think it’s a perfect one.
“You’ve worked hard, you helped your team accomplish a lot of things, they brought in a superstar at your spot, you’re not going to play because you’re a quarterback, and if you’re going to go somewhere else for a year, that makes sense for me.”