Dan Lanning Adopts Challenge Transfer Portal and NIL Rules Create

ByRichard C. Sloan

Feb 5, 2022

It’s no secret that the new NIL rules and revamped transfer portal have transformed the game of college football in significant ways.

Players now have more control than ever, with the ability to earn real money with their name, image and likeness, while having more freedom to pursue other opportunities through the transfer portal.

For coaches who have been in the business for decades, these new changes are undoubtedly daunting and frustrating, leading many of these coaches to express their displeasure.

However, for Oregon Ducks coach Dan Lanning, it’s part of his new role as head coach for the first time, and he’s taking on the challenge with the same attitude he always had in Eugene — a will. to adapt.

“I think as a coach and as someone who is in the current landscape of college football, you have to be ready to adapt and change,” Lanning told the assembled media on the day of the national signing. “Ask questions, don’t assume you know everything. I think we kind of worked through this process together and were able to build a great team that sees the big picture. I think it starts there; that everyone has a similar view as we approach it. Every team right now, I think there’s a lot of teams that don’t know which direction it’s going to go, and everyone takes a different approach.

Related: 7 running backs the Ducks should watch in the transfer portal

Allowing athletes to enjoy their own NIL was a long time coming. It was clearly problematic that a billion-dollar industry, profiting directly off the backs of these hard-working students, was not funneling a penny of that money to the athletes themselves.

While Oregon’s connection to Nike offers them the opportunity to attract student-athletes to Eugene, the transfer portal is certainly not a one-way street.

One of the main reasons players advocated for changes to the transfer portal was the frustration of committing to play for a certain manager, only to have that manager take on a new job without any repercussions. Meanwhile, the athletes themselves could not leave without spending a year in their new destination.

Mario Cristobal’s departure from Oregon definitely had a direct impact on the Ducks’ roster, as a slew of current players and incoming rookies changed their minds following Cristobal’s return to Miami.

Related: Where The Oregon Ducks Disengages Landed On Signing Day

Lanning acknowledged the significant changes the transfer portal has created in college football, but once again he saw those changes in a positive light, suggesting his team could exploit other teams’ desire to add through the portal by being even more aggressive in recruiting high school students.

“You can see there are fewer high school players recruited sometimes,” Lanning said. “It can be an advantage for us because we are going to be aggressive in recruiting high school players. I think teams can change their rosters quickly. It’s a bit of a balancing act. »

While there may be groups of people in the Oregon fan base who are a little suspicious that Lanning is only 35 and has no head coaching experience, that youth can be positive in some areas. An ability to diagnose the current landscape and find the best and most aggressive path is definitely one place where this youthfulness can be an advantage.

“Ultimately, you can look at our approach, and we’re going to be looking to improve our program through the transfer portal, but we’re also going to spend more time looking to improve our program through high school signings,” continued Lanning. “I don’t know if every program approaches it the same way, but we always want to be able to develop players. But that will change from year to year, and I think we will continue to adapt our approach as we move forward.

Of course, Lanning admits that the full extent of these changes around the NCAA — and his particular strategy — won’t be apparent for a few years, when he’s been in the head coaching role for a full recruiting cycle.

“I don’t know if we’ll fully know the full impact until we sit here four years from now and do an analysis of what it looked like,” Lanning said. “For us, we will continue to evaluate. I’m not going to take a firm stance one way or the other until we know how it affects and benefits us.