Sullivan: Goodbye and good luck to my 2nd favorite college football players

Dec 6, 2023, 12:42 PM | Updated: 12:46 pm

And for the first time in Seattle’s Morning News history, a commentary from Chris Sullivan.

Probably because nobody really wants to hear my opinions, but this one’s about sports and it’s close to my heart.

First, let me say that I absolutely hate the college football transfer portal. I hate what it’s doing to my favorite sport, creating haves and have-nots, all based on money.

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Then you add the NFL into the mix, and we’ve seen what it is doing to college football (ask Washington State and Oregon State about that).

But that said, I totally understand it. If coaches can bail for a better opportunity, players should be able to as well, especially after what coaches promise and sell to kids at camps and on their couches during home visits.

If a kid from a school can get generational wealth from another, I say go for it. I will never fault the players in any of this, they are just now being able to flex their muscles in this situation. But the grass isn’t always greener.

More than 1,000 players entered the portal on Monday, a record for the first day of the transfer period.

Many of them are already on full scholarships starting at top-tier programs. Many want more playing time. Many just don’t like their situation or the coaches anymore. Some want more exposure at a higher division. Others know that they can make a lot more money at another school, but many will transfer and not find a new home.

This is where I would normally go off on loyalty and what happened to being happy with where you are and finishing what you started. But this is not the college football that I grew up with. I get it the playing field is much different than that romanticized version I had growing up, but you know, that’s not what I’m sad about today.

My son Tommy, as most of you know, is a D1 scholarship football player at Montana State (MSU). He has started 41 games in three seasons at MSU and even played for a national championship.

We have seen what the portal can do to a high-level FCS program like MSU. It’s like a minor league. Plenty of young men on this team can play at the FBS level. Several of them have NFL written all over them.

Several players on his team have entered the portal over the last few years, and I don’t begrudge them at all. I wish them all the best and all the success they can have.

I’m sad today, not because they left for better opportunities but because I will miss them and their families. We’ve become quite close, and I consider many of them my family. Instead of talking about next season and what our son’s senior years are going to be like together, I spent Monday texting those families and telling them how much I will miss him.

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I know the parents don’t really matter, and all of this it’s about their kids, but I guess I’m just selfish. I guess I’m sad because I’m going to miss my family.

So, Luke, Blake, Rush, Jace, Omar, Jacob, Isaiah and the rest, I love you guys. And you know what, I love your parents. I know Tommy does, too.

Best of luck in your next adventure.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Sullivan: Goodbye and good luck to my 2nd favorite college football players