The NCAA has proposed an early signing period for college football.
The signing change would add two three-day signing periods. The first would start on the last Wednesday in June and the second would happen in December coinciding with when junior college players can sign Letters of Intent. The regular period starting the first Wednesday in February would remain the same.
Football recruits currently cannot sign officially sign with a school until National Signing Day begins on the first Wednesday of February. Any commitment a recruit makes before NSD is considered non-binding.
I will be surprised if by April, when the voting is done, there have not been some revisions made. The June date is tied with summer football camps. To me, that is really early for a binding commitment. Some schools wait until they see how many top recruits that they get committed. If they strike out, the big school go back to their “B list.” With more than one signing date, some of these “B list” recruits could be committed elsewhere.
High school kids change their minds. Signing a binding contract so early will not a young 18 year old change his mind. The stress of waiting for the “dream offer” and having to “wait and see” who a recruit’s favorite school signs will put more pressure on a recruit. Once again, colleges win; 18 year olds lose.
College staffs also change their minds. Once a recruit signs a binding contract, the school that signs him has him. Of course, there are ways that a college football staff can encourage a recruit to look else where. I would guess there will be some “loopholes.” There always are.
An early signing period could offer a recruit a sense of security in the case of an injury or other issue over his senior year.
Any changes to signing periods needs to be ratified by the Division 1 Collegiate Commissioners Association and would go into effect in 2017.
Comments – More pressure on the student athlete as to making a decision. More ways for college coaching staffs to find “loopholes” in the rules. Less internet media news. Less excitement at the December All-star football games with announcing commitments. Less early offers to sophomores and some freshmen.
Final thought – A “binding contract” in June of a recruit’s senior year that will determine where he will spend four/five years going to school/playing football scares me somewhat. Some football players improve physically and athletically in their senior year. Football is still played wearing pads. Some prospects “grow-up” mentality as seniors.
The senior year is important. A December signing date is good. The first Wednesday in February is always good. June is too early.