If there’s gonna be an early signing period for recruits, Andy Staples argues there should be something else that’s made early: official visits.
Earlier official visits haven’t happened because college coaches don’t want them to happen. At the moment, the only period a college coach can take a vacation is the summer, and coaches believe this would eliminate that opportunity because they’d be hosting official visitors. Never mind that coaches are adults who could simply say, “I’m taking a vacation this week” and schedule visits around it. They would prefer time off be regulated, as that makes their lives easier.
Earlier official visits would allow low-income prospects to make more informed decisions. It would help geographically isolated schools like Nebraska expose their programs to recruits who can’t afford unofficial visits. It would also help choke out the cottage industry of shady dudes loading high schoolers into vans and driving them to multiple unofficial visits over the summer — and maybe the envelopes full of cash that appear under the hotel room doors of said shady dudes in exchange for their time and trouble.
Despite all of these potential benefits, official visits still can’t start until a prospect’s senior year. But remember, it’s all about the kids.
Of course it is, bless their hearts.
The irony here is that earlier official visits would provide more of an opportunity to sell the school to kids – you know, the thing the NCAA says the recruiting process is all about.