NCAA Proposes Early Signing Period for D1 College Football

The NCAA is considering adding two early signing windows for Division I college football, which would take place in June and December.

Greg Johnson of the NCAA’s official website detailed the proposal Wednesday, which is aimed at “greater transparency in the recruiting process.” 

The signing windows would be for 72 hours and begin the final Wednesday in June and in mid-December. If adopted, the changes would begin for the 2017-18 recruiting window. 

“The working group did a deep dive on recruiting from beginning to end, and I think what we came up with as a proposal is both student-athlete-friendly and coach- and staff-friendly,” said Bob Bowlsby, chair of the Football Oversight Committee and commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. “We hit a sweet spot.”

High school recruits can currently only sign their national letter of intent beginning in February of each year. The 2016-17 signing period begins Feb. 1 and ends April 1. Junior college transfers can sign their letters from Dec. 14 through Jan. 15.

The new changes would give high school athletes one summer window before their senior year and another around when junior college players can sign.

College basketball has a similar early signing period, which lasts for one week in mid-November.

While there are some potential complications, these changes could be mutually beneficial. We’ve seen in recent years that players who are committed to one school can have their offers pulled, even after they’ve given a verbal. Sometimes that can leave talented players scrambling late in recruiting, when a majority of top programs have their spots filled.

The big beneficiaries, though, are the programs themselves. Verbal commitments have long held little water. Recruits re-open their process almost constantly for varying reasons, whether it being a coach getting let go or simply a change of heart. Because national letters of intent are binding, you could see coaches push hard to get players to sign early.

With guys locked up—and with the paper to back it up—they would be able to focus on recruiting in other areas. As it stands now, verbal commitments keep everything a bit up in the air until February.


Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.

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Source: Bleacher Report-CFB News

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