As NCAA considers an early signing period for football recruiting, some coaches warn of long-term consequences


The unintended consequences that concern Sankey include less ability to scrutinize recruits’ academics, a precipitous drop in the amount of contact before recruits sign and a potential empowerment of third parties because there’s less contact. All those would lead to ill-informed decisions and subsequent transfers. Coaches predict the June signing day will bring uninformed decisions, diminished relationships with recruits and little regard for academics. There’s little proof how the NCAA will achieve its objectives of “an improved recruiting environment” and “greater transparency in the recruiting environment.”

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I have read several articles denouncing an early signing period for football, in particular, the June one. One of the complaints is that it might make it easier for coaches, but they get paid for their recruiting efforts. Meanwhile, students get to make less informed decisions and reap the consequences.
I have to say I agree.

I read where northern teams want the early signing period since they feel at a disadvantage having kids visit in colder months where schools in the south would have milder weather.

If basketball can have an early signing period why not football?

Some kids will want to sign with blue blood programs early and their classes will get full. There is always a kid who shines during the football season who had gone unnoticed. UH might have a better shot at those kids.

I also say “buyer beware” for kids who sign early.

I don’t follow recruiting closely so I could be wrong but it seems to me that a lot of commitments are happening sooner, and classes getting close to filled quicker, than they used to thus an early signing period makes sense now.

Taking kids with 6 months less physical development and a whole season less to evaluate should mean more misses and more surprises across the board. I think this would tend to move the NCAA to more parity as recruiting becomes even more of a guessing game. It could also give an a little advantage to city schools like UH who can evaluate more juniors and underclassmen due to proximity alone.

I don’t pretend to understand all the ins and outs of recruiting, but I hate the public commitment to a school before signing. Programs hand out offers, get commitments, base other offers on other needs, only to have kids decommit and screw up the numbers. I don’t think there’s a good fix for this, but it’s just annoying. While an earlier signing period might result in kids making more ill-informed decisions, it would cut out a bunch of the decommitment crap.

I love seeing coaches say it could never work when it works down the basketball. What it does is make coaches work harder analyzing younger talent. If you have a kid that says yes early, be prepared for that loi. And when there are new studs that pop up during their senior year you may miss them because of scholarship limits. Tough.