Is an early signing period inevitable?

They may not agree on the exact date, but there appears to be a growing consensus among college football head coaches about the need for an early signing period for high school seniors.

If you recall, a significant majority of the SEC coaches are on record favoring a December 1 date.  That’s not early enough for Jim Tressel.

“The ideal time would be Aug. 1,” he said. “Then they can say to their high school teammates, ‘Look, I’m focused on you. My senior season in high school is all about you guys.’ ”

“All that Dec. 1 will do is distract the player in his senior season more than he is distracted by the regular February signing date,” Tressel said. “That being said, there would have to be more tweaks made in our current system if we do implement an early signing period.”

Mack Brown wants more than that.  And he’s smart enough to say the magic words.

“Coaches are talking about it now,” said Texas coach Mack Brown, whose staff has gained 19 commitments — second nationally to OSU’s total — for the 2009 season. “It makes so much sense because it would save money.

“My staff and I would be proponents of three signing days: one in August before the season started, one in December and one at the end.”

In response to one big concern over an early date – a coaching staff change at season’s end – Brown proposes that a kid be allowed out of his LOI if the head coach that signed him is no longer at the school the recruit signed with.  Early signing date in August or not, there is no way the college presidents are going to agree to that.  That would be an acknowledgement that coaches are bigger than the schools.


Filed under Recruiting

4 responses to “Is an early signing period inevitable?

  1. NM

    Of course, if they don’t agree to the LOI opt-out, only secure coaches (like, say, Richt or Tressel or Brown…) will get early signees, while coaches with even slightly warm seats (or guys with resumes like Petrino) will have to wait until December or February, when their job situations are clearer. Maybe this will mean that ADs will end up giving a lot more pre-season votes of confidence, or maybe it just means the rich get richer.


  2. NM

    (not sure how that winky face ended up there, it was supposed to be a closed parenthesis!)


  3. Sam

    This is wayyyy too logical to get implemented whether they do 2, or 3, signing dates based on other decisions regarding CFB. Recruiting kids for 2+ years is grueling for all involved and a tremendous waste of resources. This change would also provide some ability for schools to zero in on their needs following each commitment period knowing exactly where they stand position by position. I hope other coaches/Presidents speak out on this and get it passed ASAP.


  4. shane

    I love the qoute from the OBC, not only is coaching more fun in college, but the NFL allows little time to play Augusta National with Your rich pals. As for early signing days, I am all for it, but how would Urban steal commits at the last minute?