I’ll take obvious answers for $200, Alex.

I asked a few days ago why college football needs an early signing day.

The answer:  because more college coaches want one.

Many college coaches, maybe the majority, are pondering the implementation of an early signing period. Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, which sets the annual recruiting calendar, said the idea has “a little more air under its sails than in the past. . . . It’s more compelling than it’s ever been.”

So much so that an AFCA task force has been established “to take a look at every aspect of it,” Teaff said. During their respective conferences’ spring meetings, Division I-A coaches likely will discuss the merits of an early signing day and report back to Teaff’s group.

“In the past, the (idea of an) early signing date has fallen along lines of those who have and those who are still trying to get,” Teaff said. “But it’s definitely being looked at very seriously and is up for discussion. By the end of May, we’ll know whether to move forward.”

…If many coaches agree there should be a signing period to accommodate the growing number of early commitments, there is disagreement as to when it should be.

This thing’s far enough along for it to be in the “when not if” stage.  We might as well call it a done deal.  All for the good of the kids, of course…

For some related thoughts, check out this post at dawgsonline.com.



Filed under Recruiting

5 responses to “I’ll take obvious answers for $200, Alex.

  1. Pingback: DawgsOnline » More about an early football signing period

  2. Marshal J Duncan

    To the extent there is a problem with the current recruiting process, it does not lie with the timing of national signing day, or the lack of an early signing period. Regardless of when national signing day takes place, there will always be months (and sometimes years) of recruiting taking place beforehand, especially in the case of truly gifted athletes. Although an early signing period may provide some players with an early reprieve from this increasingly intense process, it will not necessarily shorten the period of time during which coaches court their future players. Instead, an early signing period would likely cause coaches to begin their recruitment efforts even earlier than they currently do, which is a somewhat frightening thought. Therefore, I believe we must conclude that the real problem is not signing day, but rather how college coaches and their underlings behave during the months leading up to signing day.

    Never having been the object of a Division I-A coach’s attention, it is difficult for me to gauge just how disruptive the recruiting process is for high school. students. To the extent the current process limits a student’s ability to obtain an education, make a sound decision about his future collegiate experience, or otherwise benefit from his final year(s) of high school, it would seem that change is in order.

    Instead of adding an early signing period, however, I would propose that the NCAA take action to further limit a coach’s ability to directly contact recruits. To its credit, I believe the NCAA has already approved new limitations on text messages. To the extent recruits are in need of further protection or empowerment, reducing the number of calls, emails, visits, etc. initiated by a school or its representatives would be a huge step in the right direction. While recruits should still be allowed to write or call a coach as often as needed with any questions they may have, thereby allowing them to make an informed decision about what school to attend, minimizing the contacts initiated by the schools will prevent, or at least greatly diminish, a coach’s ability to strong-arm a recruit or otherwise harass him into making a decision that is contrary to his best interests. While such regulations may cause more sleepless nights for coaches, I find it difficult to be concerned for their welfare, as they are generally well compensated for their efforts. Furthermore, because there is no incentive for coaches to take into account the best interests of their recruits, which may not be the same as those of the coaches or schools, there seems to be little reason to protect or preserve the amount of direct contact with recruits a coach is allowed to initiate. If coaches are forced to make their pitch in a shorter period of time or on fewer days, they will likely be forced to focus on the truly relevant facts about their program, thereby making such contacts more helpful for the student and less of a distraction from their high school experience.

    Once a school’s ability to harass or manipulate a player by means of continual and repetitive contact has been reduced to a manageable level, the need for an early signing period will be reduced as well, if not eliminated entirely.


  3. “To the extent the current process limits a student’s ability to obtain an education, make a sound decision about his future collegiate experience, or otherwise benefit from his final year(s) of high school, it would seem that change is in order.”

    To what extent does that occur, exactly?


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  5. I did not now it was in the “when” stage. I think it is a bad idea.