Though FCS Playoffs are ongoing and many FBS teams either await bowl games or are playing in conference championship games, it is the offseason for several teams around the country.

Like for those teams, it is the offseason for MLB, but as of Dec. 2 at midnight, the league has been locked down.

For college football teams, it means coaching movement and players possibly hitting the transfer portal.

For the MLB, the current lockout means there can be no negotiations between players and their teams as the MLB Players Association and team owners couldn’t come to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement before the expiration date.

Because there has been some local movement among some now former UCA players and the transfer portal in general, I wanted to spend the first part of this column addressing some of that.

Though not really having too many issues with the transfer portal in the three years since it’s been introduced, the football Bears have seen at least six players announce they would be hitting the transfer portal.

Those names are defensive backs Wesley Anusiem, Donte Jones, Robert Springer Jr. and Nick Nakwaasah; wide receiver Jalin Moore and quarterback Hunter Loyd.

In this current day and age of the transfer portal, which began in October 2018, and the Name, Image, Likeness stuff, opportunities for student-athletes to transfer has never been easier or more beneficial.

And, to be candid, it has both benefits to institutions and student-athletes alike. However, there are downsides to it as well.

For the student-athletes, it allows for an opportunity to go and get a chance at better playing time or a better NIL deal elsewhere.

But, for the institution, those that leave need to be replaced.

It’s been said before that a student-athlete that enters the transfer portal is quitting on their team, but I just can’t see that.

Those guys or girls, just like everyone else in society, need to get themselves in situations they see as better.

If they aren’t getting what they believe will better set themselves up in the future, then it’s their choice to leave and seek a better opportunity. I don’t think anyone should judge a player for that.

Especially when you have coaches leaving prior to their season’s last game in order to cash in on a bigger paycheck elsewhere like Lincoln Riley or Brian Kelly.

So, again, I was met with a question from someone about what is going on in the UCA locker room that is causing guys to transfer out.

To be completely honest, I don’t know. This year’s Bears team, as I’ve discussed at length, and was clear to the visible eye, didn’t meet expectations.

Thus, there are going to be speculations thrown about as to why. I don’t know if there was something going on in the locker room.

I haven’t heard anything if there was, but the easiest way to answer this is that the transfer portal has been around for three years now.

UCA has been the beneficiary of the transfer portal at times.

And yeah, it’s unfortunate these guys want to go elsewhere, but that’s the nature of the beast that the transfer portal has brought.

But it doesn’t just happen at UCA, though, and that’s the thing to remember.

The transfer portal has made it easy to transfer out, so student-athletes can and will do that should they feel the need to.

I have no problem with it.

With that being said, the MLB has just entered a lockout for the first time since the strike-shortened season of 1994.

The MLBPA and owners have “been at peace” since then, avoiding lockouts when CBAs expire, but the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement this season.

This always seemed like a possibility, especially when the two sides shut down the regular season in 2020 until late July because of disagreements in how the 2020-pandemic-filled season should have been conducted.

Now, with several things on the table such as shorter arbitration periods until free agency, service time manipulation, expanded playoffs, a salary floor, and many others, we may see a somewhat lengthy lockout.

I can’t imagine one putting losing games at risk, but Spring Training may eventually get in Jeopardy if it goes too much longer.

One thing I find a bit disappointing, and this may just be me, is that free agency was seeing a lot of movement. That was likely due to the threat of the lockout, but a lot of deals and money were given out to free agents.

Free agency and the trade deadline are two of my favorite periods in a baseball season because, to me, it’s fun to see where players end up.

But, we were given a taste with a bunch of players still up for grabs and the conclusion of the lockout may not come for a while.

And, we could see a bunch of movement afterward with the start of Spring Training coming in February.

But, imagine for a second that you’re a Cubs fan like me. The Cubs signed Marcus Stroman to a three-year deal prior to the CBA’s expiration.

The deal seemed to indicate what the Cubs front office seemed to preach they would be doing this offseason by trying to compete after trading away it’s biggest stars at last season’s trade deadline.

Not only did Stroman’s deal act as a buzzer beater, there were reports that the Cubs were among teams in on perhaps the best player available in free agency, Carlos Correa.

I know some that read this aren’t Cubs fans, and that’s OK, but man, what a high it was getting Stroman to everything freezes and all you can hang on is a report that the Cubs are in on Correa.

All we can do now is wait to see where the chips fall after the new CBA is negotiated, approved and signed.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be fun to see where players go. Just no big name players to Milwaukee or St. Louis, please.

Andy Robertson is the sports editor of the Log Cabin Democrat and can be reached at

arobertson@thecabin.net.

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