This past June college football conference commissioners delayed voting on a proposal to create a three day December early signing period in the sport. Look for this issue to come into focus once again after bowl season.
When Scott Shafer coached SU, he told the Post Standard that he was in favor of the early signing period because it’s cost effective, shows the true intentions of recruits, and will stop late decommitments.
Another important dimension to the early signing debate is what currently happens when a head coach leaves.
Using Syracuse as an example, when Dino Babers replaced Shafer, the former Bowling Green coach reached out to only a handful of Shafer’s 2016 commits. Many Shafer recruits were forced to reopen their commitments because the Orange’s new staff wanted to go in a different direction. One of those players was ex-Syracuse linebacker commit Dymelle Parker.
The projected date for the early signing period is December 16th, so if the proposal went through coaches could still be hired and then scramble for two weeks to fill a recruiting class with their own guys before the early period began.
Putting together an entire class in that time is nearly impossible though. The early period would force coaches to accept commitments from players who were recruited by the previous regime for fear of missing out on recruits completely (assuming that those players were still interested in the program after the coaching change).
This absolutely handicaps new coaches, but would put players committed to those programs in better positions.
It’s not the NCAA’s call, but if the organization truly wants what’s best for student athletes then lobbying commissioners to get this proposal passed would make a lot of sense.
This vote could change college football recruiting as we know it.
What are your thoughts on an early signing period?
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Posted: Connor Morrissette