UM's Don Brown on transfer portal: 'Not sure it's good for anybody'

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — In the final minutes of Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown’s visit with the media to tie a bow on spring practice, he turned interviewer.

“What do you guys think about the transfer portal?” Brown asked Friday afternoon. “The concept?”

Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown and head coach Jim Harbaugh at last week's spring scrimmage.

It felt like a random topic to introduce after nearly a half hour of covering plenty of bases regarding the Michigan defense.

But it’s clearly something Brown thinks is a concern for the game.

“I’m 63 years old, and I’m not sure this was the way it’s supposed to be,” Brown said. ‘But that’s just me.”

More: Michigan OC Josh Gattis: Jim Harbaugh now totally hands-off with offense

The NCAA transfer portal was born last October and allows players to enter their name and have schools initiate contact with them without being blocked by their coaches or school administrators. If a player enters the portal that doesn’t mean automatic transfer but does give the athlete options.

Brown said perhaps he could get behind a one-time transfer for any player, but he is uncomfortable with the entire concept — although he acknowledges there are clear exceptions— because it seems athletes are running from problems rather than facing them.

“I’m not sure it’s good for anybody,” he said. “Adversity introduces the man to himself. So, Don Brown has a problem with a player, I’m out? Is that teaching the man anything? Is he learning anything from it? Every situation’s different, and I’m probably opening myself up to … it’s just disappointing with all the activity that’s going on, I’m not sure that’s what we’re searching for in college football.

“There’s something about it that just makes me feel bad. It’s still part of the educational process, learning to deal with people, situations that may be adverse, I think are all things that are important. I’m not saying coaches aren’t a part of that deal, either, because there’s a lot of movement in our profession, so I think it’s a two-way street. The fear I have is I’m not sure it’s good for anybody. You get your whole team wiped out.”

Twitter: @chengelis