A Brief Explanation of the NCAA Football and Basketball Transfer Portal.

When do the windows open? When do they close? Who is eligible to transfer?
In this photo illustration, a National Collegiate Athletic...
In this photo illustration, a National Collegiate Athletic... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

It's that time of year when National Signing Days, the NCAA tournament, Spring Practice, and the Transfer Portal all converge. It can be confusing. It's somewhat odd that the NCAA hasn't figured out how to have a true offseason. Coaches must be frustrated; they must prepare for games, recruit, and research the transfer portal.

What is the transfer portal?

The transfer portal is a database of every player intending to transfer schools. Players notify their respective school's compliance office of their intention to transfer, and the office puts their name in the database within two business days. All players must meet the academic requirements for the school they wish to transfer.

That said, let's clear up some confusion and sort some important dates out for the spring.

Football has a fall and spring window: December 4-January 2 and April 16-April 30.

Basketball's transfer window is from March 18-May 1.

What does that mean for Indiana Basketball?

For Indiana basketball, it is the height of the recruiting period. Though the early signing period was in November, high school recruits can sign until May 21st. Players who signed in November can withdraw from their National Letter of Intent and commit to another school; Liam McNeely did this.

Mike Woodson and the Hoosiers are hosting several transfers and high school recruits over the next few days. In many ways, schools treat the basketball transfer window as an extension of recruiting.

What does that mean for Indiana Football?

Running back Trent Howland has re-entered the transfer portal. Expect several other players to transfer in and out before or after Indiana's spring football game on April 18th. Cignetti and his defensive staff have intimated that they want to find some defensive back depth in the portal this spring.