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Should football have an early signing period?

Discussion in 'University of Colorado Recruiting Archive' started by Buffnik, Jun 23, 2011.

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Should there be an "Early Signing Period" for football?

  1. Yes

    15 vote(s)
    71.4%
  2. No

    6 vote(s)
    28.6%
  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    It's an idea that's been bandied about for the past several years. The vast majority of coaches seem to want it (over 70% voted in favor in a poll I found from a couple years ago). I've also seen reports that high school coaches would like it since they'd have more of their players focused on their high school season rather than all the stress of the recruiting process. Football is also the only major college sport that doesn't have one.

    But what about the student athletes? It only makes sense if it benefits them.

    On the positive side, they are able to get recruiting out of the way prior to their senior season (as most choose to do for basketball by signing during the early period). Further, it would allow for official visits to be taken and paid for by the schools during the spring/summer time frame. This would allow for a more informed decision in an era where schools are pressuring for early verbal commitments. It would certainly increase the opportunities for prospects who don't have the financial resources to make a bunch of unofficial visits.

    On the negative side, it would mean that prospects are locked into a commitment before the season plays out. With the high rate of coach turnover, there's a decent chance that the coach a player signs with is fired or leaves for another opportunity during or after the college season. Under the current system, that still leaves a couple months to evaluate the new staff, take other visits, and decide whether to stick or go elsewhere. To be fair, in basketball most schools are pretty good about granting releases in that situation... but they don't have to. It also may limit the opportunities even more for players who develop late (or were stuck behind talent, switched sports or whatever) and don't show what they can do until their senior seasons. Using basketball as an example once again, it is not to the point where probably 90% of prospects sign during the early period.

    Last, one idea that was proposed was for the early signing period to be during the season. That may make a difference with the late developing prospects, but it puts an unworkable burden on college staffs that need to focus on coaching and game planning rather than collecting signatures. I highly doubt that will be the model they'll use if this comes to pass.

    It looks like an early signing period for football is inevitable, whether it happens in the next few years or takes longer.

    What say you? Would you like it or should we stick with the current system with a single National Signing Day event?
     
  2. zbuff

    zbuff Club Member Club Member

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    Kids being just that, they change their minds. After signing, though, they should be held to it - it is, after all, a contract with the school to attend and play. And an adult signature is required - theirs at 18 or their parents before. I think that adds stress and forces a decision before they're really ready, at least in many cases. And coach/peer pressure will be great to sign as early as possible. So I'm not in favor.

    To make changes that favor kids, why not increase the number of official visits? That's more information, which would be helpful.
     
  3. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    zbuff,

    That's where I used to be. Now, I think what you're saying is asking to put the genie back in the bottle. Prospects are under tremendous pressure to make a commitment early as it is, but they're having to do it without the opportunity to make official visits. Many programs expect an early verbal commitment or they move on to a different player. Increasingly, only the elite prospects really have the option of delaying a decision until they're good and ready at the end of their senior seasons. I see a problem that isn't going to go away, so I think the best option is to work within the dynamics of the situation to find the best solution. And, it does work well for basketball.

    P.S. Selfishly, it would be good for AllBuffs traffic during the offseason if we had a July signing period. :smile2:
     
  4. DesertDawg526

    DesertDawg526 Resident Dawg Club Member

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    I think there should be an early signing period. It can help or hurt teams, but it would keep both sides honest better (i.e. -- recruits changing their minds on signing day leaving teams hanging without a PSA at a position of need, and vice versa with teams yanking schollies for borderline PSAs when they get an elite prospect who was turned at the past minute).

    Because of that I really like the idea, and it gives some certainty for players, teams and fans...

    Now, having said that, if a coach is fired or the school put on sanctions then they should be able to withdraw the commit without penalty (both sides).
     
  5. moett88

    moett88 Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully this won't sound stupid but couldn't we have 2? That allows those that want to sign early the opportunity to do so and gives colleges an idea of who they TRULY have coming. The on round 2, just like the supplemental draft, give the sleepers and underrated kids a chance and college coaches a 2nd chance to recruit deserving athletes.
     
  6. zbuff

    zbuff Club Member Club Member

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    moett88, I think you get that for free - there is no obligation to sign early. And as far as I know, the only requirement is that of individual schools' enrollment periods.

    So, Nik, I guess an early signing period would necessarily be accompanied by early official visits? As long as the flexibility would be there for them to change their minds - at some point it has to stick, though, so maybe after the early February date, the commitments would be "permanent?"
     
  7. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I'm guessing it would be just like basketball. 5 total official visits (or maybe some new number). Could be taken during the spring/summer or during the fall/winter. There would be an Early Signing Period (say the last week in July or first week in August) as well as the National Signing Day the first Wednesday in February. Basically, a prospect could choose to sign during the early period. If he didn't sign then, he wouldn't be able to sign an LOI until National Signing Day in February.
     
  8. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

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    I think there should be. It seems like a no brainer for the most part. Recruits that want to commit early and have the process over and done with can do so. Teams will know who they have so far for a class and can plan accordingly with the second period.

    Players should be able to get out of the LOI if the coach is fired or something, although one must question why they would commit when that usually isn't something that happens by surprise. Everyone had to know Hawk was all but gone last season, so recruits were committing to the school, not so much to Hawk and the staff.

    The point about official visits during the summer and spring is good too. I'm sure plenty of recruits would rather not play a game Friday night, fly out for an OV, and then be back home and in class Monday morning, that just sucks.
     
  9. zbuff

    zbuff Club Member Club Member

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    It seems like the kids would get something for nothing - a chance at earlier visits without any obligation to commit earlier. That does make it seem like a no-brainer, although I still do have some concern for kids who late-in-the-process balk at going away from home. We've seen enough attrition for that reason, and this could exacerbate it.
     
  10. moett88

    moett88 Well-Known Member

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    zbuff -

    I can see your point on the early official visits..........but from a parent standpoint trying to manage monies for camps and combines, training, 7 on 7 tourneys (depending on position)and visits makes it really difficult to see as many campuses as necessary. As i'm reading other articles i'm not sure how some parents are doing 5 to 7 visits and camps unless they are taking out small loans! :wow:
     
  11. zbuff

    zbuff Club Member Club Member

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    moett88, thanks for your posts, btw. That's why I think they should increase the number of officials and this would seemingly allow those to be scheduled earlier. Don't they cover all the costs on those officials, or just for the recruit? It seems like if the recruit is a minor, they'd be allowed to and have to cover a parent/guardian, too.
     

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