Why doesn’t football have an early signing period yet? We asked …

Why doesn’t football have an early signing period yet?

An NCAA committee will discuss an early signing period for football this summer.

It’s nothing new. This same committee discussed the same topic a couple of years ago, and on a year basis before that, according to an NCAA official. An early signing period for football also gets brought up every year at various conference meetings and the AFCA convention.

The majority of college football coaches support the idea of an early signing period, but there’s not a consensus on how to format it.

Why doesn’t football have an early signing period yet? We asked some of the nation’s top coaches:



Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin: “I think the coaches keep bringing it up every year. Somewhere it dies after it leaves the coaches. I’ll just put it that way … I don’t understand it either. I’ve sat in many of those meetings. We leave with the coaches vote (in favor of it), and then it just dies and goes away later on. I don’t know what happens.”

FSU’s Jimbo Fisher: “Nobody gives you a legitimate reason (on why there’s not an early signing period). I haven’t heard one yet. That’s a very interesting thing. Somebody is stopping it. I have no Earthly idea why.”

Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly:  “Some were worried about a July visit and all those things. If you put it in the perspective of what we are doing right now, most these kids are making their decisions as high school juniors. If we clearly look it, I don’t think it would really change what we’re doing right now. I don’t know (why we don’t have an early signing period), and I can’t understand it either . If they put the coaches in the room that really have the ability to move it, and maybe this is when the five conferences get together, legislation like this may, in fact, pass.”

Hugh Freeze of Ole Miss: “The one negative in people’s minds is that we’re expediting the process. If that’s the case, we (as college coaches) are going to stay here and try to get them (high school juniors) on campus all of June and July, so that hopefully you can convince them to come on and sign with you early. And the last thing we need to do is try to expedite it. But the other side of it, which would outweigh it and would make me in favor of (an early signing period), is the fact that you would be able to get a kid signed who is committed to you where you don’t have some of the last two-week drama that you have now …”

Tennessee’s Butch Jones: “I don’t know. I think overall, all it does is really accelerate the recruiting calendar even that much more. We know now it’s about as accelerated as you can have it. But I think it constitutes more dialogue and further discussion as we move forward.”

Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson: “I have no idea. I don’t understand it, either.”

Miami’s Al Golden: “I don’t know. That’s the thing. We talk about it every year. We have great coaches in our league and guys who really care about college football. It seems like every year it gets proposed, and I’m not sure why it never gains any steam.”





Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com


— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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