Chicago Bulls Coach Billy Donovan Not A Fan Of NIL, Transfer Portal’s Effect on College Athletes


Chicago Bulls coach Billy Donovan is team ‘anti’-NIL when it comes to the laziness it affords college athletes.

Donovan joined former Miami Heat stars Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller for a podcast interview and touched on NIL and the transfer portal’s impact on athletes — notably how it strips them of facing adversity.

The NCAA’s Name, Image and Likeness ruling has fast-tracked college athletes to fame and wealth. The transfer portal receives pushback for its access to a starting job, often by taking a lesser opportunity.

Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is part of the college experience, Donovan stated.

NIL’s Negative Effects On Athletes, Per Chicago Bulls Coach Billy Donovan

“What happens if one of these guys does get drafted,” the coach said, “and they sign a four-year deal, and they’re not happy in the situation? They can’t leave. And I think you’ve got to be able to work your way through some adversity and difficulty sometimes to find out a little more about yourself, and the way it’s set up, there’s no resiliency of going through anything that’s difficult and tough in life.”

Donovan won two national titles while coaching the Florida Gators.

College football icon Lou Holtz voiced a similar sentiment to Donovan’s during an appearance on OutKick Hot Mic.

Holtz presented the reality that college athletes need responsibility to evolve. He also argued that enabling college athletes to embrace the transfer portal can give them an easy out to climb the depth chart.

According to guys like Donovan and Holtz, resilience pairs with development.

“I’ve always felt an athlete should be paid if he worked at Wal-Mart or McDonald’s, but not to play college football,” Holtz shared.

“You learn in college football that you go there to get an education. They have sports in college because one of the great educational things you can do is learn to be a teammate. You learn to be compared to be learned, overcome adversity, you learn to be patient.

“And that’s what the transfer portal, I think, really hurts a player. If he doesn’t have instant success, he goes rapidly somewhere else, … that’s not the way college football should be. You learn patience, you learn perseverance, and you learn to overcome adversity to wait your turn.”

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – DECEMBER 28: Patrick Williams #44 of the Chicago Bulls gets instruction from Head Coach Billy Donovan in the first half against the Indiana Pacers on December 28, 2023 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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