CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The transfer portal and NIL have completely changed college athletics in the past year, allowing students to make money off their name, image and likeness still in school, while also giving them the freedom to leave for another school without restrictions. Add in conference realignment fueled by billion dollar television contracts that are rapidly leading to super conferences, and the college model supported by the NCAA is quickly looking like a thing of the past.

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman is in favor of getting out in front of the changes, supporting new ways of doing business in college sports, but he’s also trying to keep it all in perspective. Case in point, the transfer portal. Whitman says changes are needed to keep the portal sustainable.

“I do think that there may be some opportunities to modify it and still provide strong access to it in the right circumstances, but whether it’s through the adoption of windows of time where it’s open, whether it’s through some from end residency requirement where we ask student athletes to stay on their original campus for a length of time to at least because acclimated and comfortable before they make a final decision whether it’s the right place for them,” Whitman said.

The Illini leader proposed a two or three semester residency requirement at the front end of enrollment, keeping students at one school through at least their freshman season or more. It’s just one idea to limit the thousands of football and men’s basketball players alone, who enter the portal, with some never finding a landing spot.