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.