Women Student-Athletes Are Quietly Flexing Their Power Through the Transfer Portal

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The number of women college basketball players entering the transfer portal is growing.

As of May 22nd, 2021 over a thousand women basketball student-athletes have entered the transfer portal and over thirty programs have more than five players transferring from the school. The number of female student-athletes in the portal has more than doubled from last season’s total of 490. The increase in student-athletes transferring can in part be attributed to the one-time transfer exception approved by the NCAA to provide relief from the coronavirus pandemic. But there are other reasons that student-athletes are transferring.

Athlete empowerment.

Student-athletes who previously accepted a more subordinate amateur-minded role have begun advocating for their self-interests. They have developed a social media presence, transferred more frequently, and resisted overreaches in authority. 

One obvious reason for player mobility is athlete and coach conflict. This usually stems from authority overreach by coaches or general disagreement between player(s) and coach(es). Oftentimes, it makes for big headlines.

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