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Auburn’s Bruce Pearl says ‘combining the portal and the NIL together has made it challenging’

Bruce Pearl
Photo credit: Auburn Athletics

Bruce Pearl recently returned from an eight-day trip, something that is probably customary this time of year with the college basketball season over.

However, there are a couple of things he’s still trying to get acclimated to with NIL in place.

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“You know, last week was the perfect week to be gone. We had graduation. We had no class,” Pearl said, via “It was the right time to be gone. I might have to push it back a week when I go next year because of the recruiting calendar. But how do you visit kids when your team is on break? How do you have official campus visits? So, combining the portal and the NIL together has made it challenging.”

There used to be a longer period of down time after the NCAA Tournament. But because of the AAU basketball season starting much sooner, the recruiting cycle is naturally sped up.

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“The biggest change is April and May, in the sense that all of a sudden, at the end of the year, you’re dealing with your own roster changes — which you never had before,” Pearl said. “I never had guys transfer. Hardly ever. Now you’re dealing with that. And you’re dealing with all these guys; I don’t know the number, like 1,700 in the portal. 1,700? Three to three-and-a-half per roster, 13 scholarships, and that’s every year? So, as a result, April and part of May become months that you’re working.”

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