Euphemism of the day

You know how we like to say around here if they tell you it’s not about the money, it’s about the money?  Well, see if you can catch the common theme here

Not everybody is for the early signing period, but SEC coaches voted 14-0 to have it the first Monday after Thanksgiving if such a day is established.

“I think it’s a great idea,” LSU coach Les Miles told reporters in Destin, Fla. “It’s all based on trying to serve the student-athlete. If he’s grown up, wants to go to LSU or Missouri or wherever, his father and mother have gone to school there and he’s been unofficially on your campus a bunch of times, then let’s give him an opportunity to sign early.

“Let’s not change the recruiting calendar, and let’s not create a bunch of difficulty based on that. We’re really only trying to serve those young men who want to come to your school.”

The early signing period would apply to recruits who don’t take visits to other schools.

… and here.

To Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, it clearly makes sense for the league.

“It’s one that keeps our calendar pretty consistent. It allows the guys that have been committed to their school to sign with that school,” Mullen said. “It also protects the student-athlete as best as possible.”

At least Mullen had the sheepish decency to cover that with an “as best as possible” qualifier.

Look, this has almost nothing to do with student-athlete welfare and everything to do with making life easier for head coaches.  A kid who wants to sign with dear ol’ State U and nowhere else is gonna be there at Thanksgiving and he’s gonna be there in February.  The only positive an early date brings for him is that he won’t get screwed out of a scholarship if he gets hurt over the holidays.

How good is this for the SEC coaches, though?  Let me count the ways.

  1. It cuts down on in season recruiting trips.  (“We want to coach our players in season,” Richt said.)
  2. It’s a money saver.  Coaches wouldn’t have to invest in recruiting trips to re-recruit already committed prospects.
  3. “Mullen also said that the SEC’s proposal would protect the schools that don’t want to lose those recruits with months remaining before they sign their national letters of intent.”  You may say you trust the word of that gifted athlete you really want in your program, but if you have any doubts – or simply don’t want to tempt your competitors – why take a chance?
  4. It undercuts the ACC’s early signing proposal and keeps a handle on summer recruiting.  (“Some of us would like to have a little sanity in our lives,” Richt said.)

The reality is that if you’re a power school in a power conference, an early signing period makes little sense.  You’ve got the resources at hand to scratch and claw over every five-star stud you’re interested in.  So whatever new signing day wrinkle you’re going to sign on to is going to have one very important feature to it – serving the student-athlete conveniencing the head coach.



Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

11 responses to “Euphemism of the day

  1. Lrgk9

    Likelihood of Last minute defections because of undue inducements will be moved back to Thanksgiving. The recruit and his family will be busy. So Ole Miss, Auburn, Clemson, and Tenercee will have to do their dirty work dirt cheap earlier.

    Plus, it puts a focus on commitable offers that currently does not exist.


  2. This proposal only lives as long as ESPN/SEC Network says there will be ratings for a show on the early signing day. If it’s apparent that people won’t care to watch wall-to-wall coverage of the early signing period because the 5-star players aren’t signing early, this proposal will disappear. It’s not about the money …


  3. There was a time when I was strongly in favor of an early signing day. But with the developments over the past year and the debate on student-athlete well being, I’ve shifted on it.

    In theory, it’s great. Yeah, those guys who grew up a fan, always wanted to go there, etc, it would be nice to lock them in. But the problem is there’s always guys who have committed but aren’t really ready to sign that early yet. So what is it going to look like when a guy has committed to your school, but refuses to sign on that early date? Then you’re gonna have some coaches and fans blabbering on about how clearly this kid isn’t really committed, we should go after somebody else, and bad mouthing him in general. It really puts the player between a rock and a hard place, and I guess could even lead to him ultimately de committing if bad blood develops when he might have signed in Feb otherwise.

    If it could truly be treated as just a luxury when players signed early, that would be great. But we all know it would immediately become an expectation for every kid who has committed up to that point, which would be a disservice to the kids and their families.


  4. Bob

    What about the kid who signs and then the coaching staff is fired or even more likely, moves on to another job? I know…they should be signing with a school and not a coach. That is great, but it is not reality for a bunch of these guys. I worry that this might have lots of unforeseen consequences.


    • In most cases, people (including coaches) have conceded this point, that there should be an ‘out’ for the kid in that situation. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the ‘out’ would actually be included if an early signing day comes to pass. But I 100% agree with you.

      My thought is that if it comes to pass, the ‘out’ clause should provide some measure of protection for both sides. I’d like to see something like the kid can’t decommit until maybe 2 weeks after the new coach is announced, then the kid would have a 1 week window to decommit. This gives the school a chance to hire a new coach, and give the new coach a chance to sell the current recruits on his vision before they make their decision. It gives the kid an out, but by limiting the window to 1 week, he can’t drag the decision on until signing day. That way the new coach knows what he is working with. And of course the kid could always decommit during the 1 week window, then recommit later and sign on signing day.

      I just wouldn’t want to see the kids automatically released if a head coach leaves. I’d like for the new coach to have a couple of weeks to have a chance on selling the current commits before they decide. However, I don’t think the new coach should be able to decide he doesn’t want a current signee, so my view has a bit of a double standard in favor of the student athlete.

      There’s some other complications, for example as it is now, a kid can’t sign 2 NLI’s in the same year, so if he ended up leaving between the two signing periods, he could only sign a grant-in-aid at the next school. But I’m not entirely sure that’s a bad thing either.


  5. Joe Schmoe

    I understand some of the consternation, but to me this does clearly benefit a certain type of athlete – the 3 star prospect. Most 5-star prospects are going to drag out there recruiting until signing day much as they do now because they know that schools are going to hold schollies for them. But this creates pressure for coaches – do I take the risk on the 5-star or do I allow my solid 3-star to go ahead and sign. Schools might lose these players to other programs if they refuse to let them sign on the early date.


  6. Dubyadee

    A suggested compromise: a school can accept up to 10 NLI’s at any time during the period from the Monday after Thanksgiving until the normal signing day.


  7. Irwin R Fletcher

    “So whatever new signing day wrinkle you’re going to sign on to is going to have one very important feature to it …conveniencing the head coach.”

    Maybe I’m naive, but I read Coach Richt’s responses as ‘if we are going to have it, let’s make sure it doesn’t encroach on coaching and whatever little personal time we have left’ while I read the other coach’s statements as ‘let’s make sure we can lock the kid up with as little resources (time, money, etc.) as possible.’ Maybe that’s two sides of the same coin, but it seems like a different approach…as is typical of Coach Richt.


  8. Keese

    It’s an early signing date that is all. If the kids don’t want to sign they don’t have to sign taking all into account. It doesn’t have to get more complicated than that


  9. W Cobb Dawg

    I think there should be a “late” signing period – something like July 31st. It helps the really confused kids who just can’t make up their mind. And think of all those open spots we need to fill yearly because of off-season attrition. espn could be filming the signing ceremony – with CMR doing backflips into a pool in the background. It would be a boon to UGA!