Back to AFCA for a moment… in the wake of the model proposed by the NCAA’s football oversight committee that would create two early signing periods in June and December for high school prospects, the coaches announced support for an early signing date.
“We would like to now start the conversation going about multiple signing days,” Berry said at a news conference. “This is something that we have never come to agreement on, and we’re ready to take that step.
Berry said coaches understand the current model is “archaic” with student-athletes and both high school and college coaches wanting more flexibility and earlier signing periods. He also said many high school athletes enter college after concluding their senior seasons.
“We think this is the least intrusive to the current model and allows for the best study because this is the biggest step,” Berry said. “What is a multiple signing date going to do to the recruiting date? This is the biggest step of all. We need to evaluate that.”
That is why the coaches unanimously agreed to recommend an additional signing day on the third Wednesday in December, currently the mid-year signing day for junior college student-athletes with no limitations. The signing date also needs approval from the Collegiate Commissioners Associate, which administers the national letter of intent.
“There are still a lot of concerns with the model that is being proposed, and I think everybody that was a part of that model would say that we recognize there was going to be some holes in the model,” Berry said. “As coaches, we don’t think that’s fair to the student-athletes to put them through an experiment.”
Damn, there’s that “fair to the student-athletes” thing again. Wonder how many of those guys honestly believe the transfer rules are fair to the student-athletes.
You don’t have to dig very deep into Berry’s language there to realize there’s a great deal of reluctance to embrace more signing dates, unanimous support of adding one in December notwithstanding. And it’s not because of fairness. It’s because these guys recognize a threat to their control of the signing process. (If there’s one thing they’re good at, it’s recognizing threats to control.)
Early signing dates mean things like contingent offers and slow playing commits get flushed out earlier, which leaves kids more time to assess their real-world opportunities. That’s so unfair — to the coaches.