Hate when that happens

Andy Staples cuts to the chase on what really bugs coaches about the new early signing period.

… Still, coaches controlled one vital piece of information—whether their scholarship offer actually was an offer.

Now, coaches have to put their cards on the table six weeks earlier. Some of them hate that.

Most programs hand out more than 100 scholarship offers but aren’t allowed to sign more than 25 players a year. Obviously, they need to offer more than 25 players because not everyone they offer will sign. But do they need to offer 231? That’s how many players claim offers from Minnesota in the class of 2018, according to the 247Sports database. Do they need to offer 265? According to rivals.com, that’s how many class of ’18 players claim offers from Ole Miss, whose coach thinks allowing players to sign six weeks earlier is reckless. Even if we correct for the possibility that some of the players are claiming offers they don’t have—let’s estimate that number liberally at 50—it’s still an astounding number of offers.

Before this recruiting cycle, coaches could watch the dominos fall through December and January and either cut loose committed players or ask them to take a grayshirt, which would require them to delay enrollment until the spring of the following year…

When programs sent the FedEx envelopes containing scholarship papers in the first week of February, that’s the first time the players learned whether their scholarship offer was real. In most cases, they were. But on Dec. 18 and Dec. 19 of this year, when some players go looking for those envelopes, they’re not going to find them.

This irks some coaches for several reasons. First, coaches hate change. Second, they hate anything that makes their lives more difficult. Third, many hate anything that offers a modicum of power to the player. In this case, knowledge is power.

It really is that simple.

Just imagine how coaches would react if the NCAA eliminated signing days altogether and made an accepted offer binding on the spot.



Filed under Recruiting

13 responses to “Hate when that happens

  1. About freaking time! Hopefully, now that schools have to be serious, it’ll make our at least encourage some of these kids to stop playing games. Recruiting has become such a shitshow and I place much of the blame on these recruiting services for getting the ball rolling.


    • Macallanlover

      Agree, it will provide more transparency earlier in the process and allow a six week “cooling off” period where everyone can re-evaluate where they stand. Still feel there needs to be a limit set on what percentage of the available scholarships can be taken on the first signing date (say 66%). This would prevent a stampede and allow more time to see the cards that have been played after the December signing period. I think that would benefit both sides, and result in better decisions.



    Been stating your last thought for a while. Cut out the bullshit…a school offers, the player accepts. Done.


  3. Paul

    Wait, you mean a player can know in December whether or not Saban is going to grayshirt him and commit to another school instead?


  4. DawgPhan

    The difference is that the coaches get to rep this new rule dozens of times per year while most kids and their families only get to do it once. And they have to do it without legal representation. Any new rule has an inherent bias in favor of the schools and the coaches because of the reps and the representation.

    This rule will never work in favor of the kids once the coaches get a couple reps.


  5. JCDAWG83

    I’m not an expert on the rules of scholarships but if a kid signs a LOI in December, he has a scholarship, right? Coaches could easily paint themselves in a corner with offers. What happens if 25 of the 200 or so kids offered, who happen to all be 3 star players, jump in early and all sign LOIs in December? Is that years recruiting over since there are no more scholarships available assuming a class is limited to 25 signees?


    • DawgPhan

      Dont think that is how it works. The schools make you an offer but the offer is really only valid when they mail you the LOI to be signed and returned.

      Until the school sends the LOI the offer is not commit able.


  6. MGW

    I can’t decide which teams and recruits stand to benefit the most, and what the unintended consequences will be.

    Will it bring more talent parity at the top? i.e. the kids who Bama might eventually sign not waiting around and going to other upper tier (but not bama level) schools.

    Will it help schools like UK, Mississippi State, and Vandy by sending them the scraps from above? Will those schools suffer the same problem of their “maybe” kids going ahead and taking a lesser offer while Vandy, etc. wait around for the scraps from above?

    Seems like it should trickle all the way down like that to some extent, all the way into FCS, perhaps with greater talent benefits the lower down the totem pole you go, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if there was a sort of “sweet spot” that reaps the greatest benefit from this. If there’s a sweet spot, would that be at the mid or lower tier of power five? Would it be at the upper tier of group of five?

    As for recruits, presuming it’ll be harder for top tier schools to completely pack the classes with only the best, where’s that leave them? Seems like the very best talent will of course still have the school of their choice (unless they get burned by deciding to wait till signing day #2 and the school spooks and takes their second choice and fills that “need”), and the “second tier” of a current school’s board would be more likely to wind up elsewhere. Which means kids lower on the board who may not otherwise have been able to sign with the best of the best could now get that opportunity, if they’re willing to wait till signing day #2.

    If that happens, then we’ll have an increase in washouts which need to be (form the coach perspective) replaced after a couple years by either juco’s or grad transfers.

    I look forward to a statistical evaluation of all of that in a few years. Would love to see a statistical analysis attempting to predict it.


  7. Poor coaches. Besides making millions or close to it, they now won’t be able to possibly lie to recruits early in advance? The horror


  8. Rebar

    I see problems down the road when you have a situation Georgia faced this year. Most everybody thought our 2 halfbacks and 2 outside linebackers would leave to “go to the show”. When they didn’t, Kirby had to start backing off recruits because of the “numbers situation”.


  9. Question for all you legal minds on the blog. Some of the HS seniors have to still be 17 on NS day. How does a 17 yo sign a legally binding contract? Do the parents have to consign? Would it still be binding on the kid when he turns 18? If offers could be given and accepted at any time, would we have 15 and 16 yo’s signing binding contracts? I don’t think anyone would say that was a good idea.

    I think we should not allow college coaches to even talk to a player until they have finished the junior year of HS. Then they can make an offer whenever they want and the kid could accept whenever they want and it would be binding on both. Just my 2 cents.


    • JCDAWG83

      Not really, I was 17 when I graduated high school. I would have had to wait until halfway through Summer camp to sign a LOI if I had to wait until I was 18.


  10. I WANT ALL THE CONTROL, and if I do not have it, then I am against it. Said pretty much all Div. 1 coaches.