Posted: 12:37 am Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson in favor of scrapping signing day 

By Michael Carvell

One of college football’s most popular topics this summer is an early signing period, and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini has steered the conversation in a radically different direction.

Pelini is in favor of scrapping signing day altogether, and simply letting recruits sign college scholarships whenever they are offered – an idea that was endorsed also by Arizona coach Rich Rodriquez. Under this plan, it would eliminate a lot of the recruiting silliness provided by both the colleges and the prospects.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson is a longtime supporter of a Pelini-type plan.

This idea makes too much sense -- which is why it will never be an NCAA rule (AP)

This idea makes too much sense — which is why it will never be an NCAA rule (AP)

“Personally, with what Bo Pelino came out with, that’s what I’ve been talking about for years,” Johnson told the AJC. “That’s the way I would do it. You don’t even have a signing date. Once they commit, you give them a scholarship and they sign. You get 25 signees per year, and 85 spots overall. I think they have to be in their senior year of high school (to be able to sign), or maybe complete their junior year.

“It would cut all the (crap) out of it. All those people who think they have offers would find out that they really don’t have offers. You know, if somebody walked in your school and said ‘You have an offer,’ the kid could say ‘OK, where is it? I’m ready to sign it.’ This would stop all this foolishness.

“And it would work the same way with the kids saying ‘Yeah, coach, I’m committed.’ The college says ‘OK, here’s your scholarship. Sign it.’ The kid says ‘Well, I don’t want to sign right now.’ Well then that kid is not committed. If a kid didn’t want to sign, they wouldn’t sign. And if he did sign, it’s binding. It would stop all this ‘He’s a soft commit.’ It’s not a commit, it’s a reservation.’

“If you went to what Pelini has been talking about, you would wait until a kid graduated after his junior year. And you could have a provision in there that if the coach changed, you could release them. That would easy enough.”

If college football must have an early signing period, this idea is the best one out there. It makes too much sense – which is why it probably never has a chance of becoming an NCAA rule.

I like the idea of letting kids sign college scholarships as soon as they officially complete their junior year of high school (in late May or June), as opposed to Aug. 1 before their senior year. I know that’s only the difference of two months, but there’s simply too much going on around Aug. 1 with both the start of the high school and college season to likely make it a big distraction for both sides.

How would this plan affect the current recruiting calendar in other ways? None. High school kids could sign from the end of their junior year until their high school graduation. The only other necessity would be a provision for colleges to give an automatic release to signees if they change head coaches during that school year.

Thoughts? Please post below.

Note: While Johnson’s first choice would be to do away with signing day altogether as mentioned above, he also supports the ACC’s recommendation of an early signing period for Aug. 1.

184 comments
Halfback
Halfback

I love the concept.  The recruiting drama is out of control, thanks to us overzealous fans and ESPN calling the shots.  Paul is right about the next "Confederacy", as well.  I still love the sport, but the thugs, demand for pay, and the whole "student-athlete" sham has just about taken all of the fun out of it for me.  If just some of the time and energy devoted to the recruiting drama could be applied to some of the problems in this world, a lot of good could be done.  

Red-Dog
Red-Dog

Recruiting has become a spectacle by design...... Now you have a giant machine, an industry of sorts with paying members thriving on the self created drama.... 

Coaches, pundits, twitter, and multi-million dollar websites thrive off this charade,  will they allow its demise?

I don't see how you can blame the prospects for the state of events but, this is America and those who don't have a voice usually get the short straw....By design.

Money says nothing changes and it gets worse.



gtcaryd
gtcaryd

CPJ, the Genius. who would of figured?

Realisticfan
Realisticfan

If there is concern about a contract not valid until they are 18, make the rule that they can sign after their junior year and must be 18 years old.  Simple.  I like this rule.  Then Alabama will have to take whomever they offer to that accepts or just say no. And this would save a lot of recruiting money, time and kids just taking trips to see the world. First time I have ever agreed with CPJ. 

Buzz-Off
Buzz-Off

Hey guys, at 18 they are eligible to vote and go off to war......so hopefully they can pick a college. I just want to see all the hotdogging disappear. I hate the way some of these kids jerk around the coaches who have spent days recruiting them by playing the "cap game" on TV. The athletes I respect the most are the ones who don't think their signing day is a national holiday!!!

someonesdad
someonesdad

Problem is that these kids are likely 17 when signing.  You can't really hold them to a contract, no matter what they say.

Bearhand
Bearhand

This makes way too much sense, so, of course it will not be implemented.

NOVAJacket
NOVAJacket

Not a radical idea but back to the future  This is what we used to do back in the day - basically end p camping out at a kids house  get a signature...

YesIamapirate
YesIamapirate

What fun would that be? No semi-literate "student athletes" holding up puppies and switching hats on national

TV? Quickly followed by the same semi-literate "student athlete" being kicked out of "school".


It's great entertainment for grown men with nothing else going on in their lives.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

NSD (Nick Saban Day) is a big deal to us rednecks. It's the only time we make the news. I understand Paul's deal in that every year he has a couple of good players taken away by other schools once they get down to their B-List.

The "let errrrbody play two innigs" has this country in a world of sheet so why stop now?  If you can't run with the Big Dawgs then stay on the porch and complain with the rest.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

To those "gifted" UGA fans on here:

You're saying the reason GT doesn't/can't recruit on-par with the UGAs, BAMAs, FSUs, UFs, etc., is b/c of PJ.


So I'm assuming you truly believe that if Richt & Co., or any of the other schools, swapped-out with PJ & his staff that they'd all continue bringing in top 10-15 recruiting classes? Riiiiiiiiiiight.     

iseestupidpeople
iseestupidpeople

The legal age to sign a contract varies from state to state. I think its 19 in Alabama while it's 18 in Georgia. The laws would have to be changed and set at a national norm.

Unless the NCAA wants to acknowledge Federal authority and place themselves under their rulings.

Federally the age is already 18.

GTAlum
GTAlum

@someonesdad Why not?  Teenagers make lots of decisions that can have a lasting impact on their lives, regardless of whether they are athletes or not.  They should know by that age that their decisions and actions have consequences, and, if they don't, they need to learn it.

GTBob
GTBob

@someonesdad Which is a good reason why their parents have to sign it as well.

iseestupidpeople
iseestupidpeople

I don't get the point of posting this in the context of having a national signing day.

There are many issues as to why the SEC signs better talent and NC proves the point.

In order to recruit you have to make education the 3rd priority. First you need to be concerned with money being brought into the school and second you have to get the player in the game.

NC had strong academic standards at one time. As a state school they were under a lot of pressure to fit the national powerhouse image.

So

The talent had to be paid, excused from class and/or set up in imaginary programs which never required attendance.

Tech will fail, as will Wake, NC State, Boston College, Virginia and Duke in any race to lower academic standards and as long as a student athlete can't get in or stay in school the ACC will never recruit well compared to the SEC-- regardless of who the coach is.

GTBob
GTBob

@Gt79 Most have probably already read it. It's just an angry rant by some random UNC fan. It actually made me laugh a good bit.

RingtheBell
RingtheBell

@Domina8r That could go for almost any school....... They all have basket weaving give me a freakin break!!!!!!

GTBob
GTBob

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie Allowing players to sign whenever they want wouldn't change much for GT or Alabama. It would just make recruiting easier. Let them sign whenever they want and you guys will have 30-35 different days you can celebrate. Isn't that better than just one? 

jarvis1975
jarvis1975

@D-Sheets Not 10-15 but better than PJ brings in.  His personality and offense are negatives.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Bobby ...I am not sure you understand the recruiting games being played by the top teams. This stuff is sleazy.

GTBob
GTBob

@jarvis1975 History doesn't support your claim. The coaches that came before CPJ didn't recruit much better if better at all. I would also question how you know so much about CPJ's personality. Plenty of players and recruits have said they loved his personality.

inoto20
inoto20

@GTBob @jarvis1975 Gt pre pj could get playmakers on both sides of the ball. Now that is basically non existent.  Those guys would allow gt to beat the clemsons, uga, auburns, nd, vt on occasion. Now they can't beat those teams because gt no longer gets any stud recruits.

And plenty of players have left the program because of his personality.

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 Really? In the 15 years before CPJ got here we were 3-12 against UGA. 7-8 against a Clemson team that wasn't nearly as good as they are now. 2-3 against VT with a 44 point beat down included. 2-2 against ND, one of the wins being against a 3-9 ND squad. The only real bright spot was the Auburn wins. Those two wins were nice. It almost made up for the 9 game losing streak we had against them before that. We were never a great team against any of the teams you mentioned.

Either way it doesn't really answer what I was talking about which is recruiting. Gailey had one top 50 class. O'Leary had two classes out of 7 that were nationally ranked. Ross couldn't even pull in a top 25 class the year after winning the national title. If you can explain why those coaches couldn't recruit all that well also that would be nice. I would also like to know which players left the program just because they didn't like CPJ's personality. 

wrecked
wrecked

@GTBob @inoto20 Chan put  many more  players on the  All conference  teams, not  even close comparing  the  roster  Chan had  put together his last 2 years compared to the what PJ does.Would you rather have  the  rosters of  2006 through 2008 or  the roster of 2011  through  2013?

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 Yeah, im sure the torrential downpour that lasted all day and all night and the fact that it was good friday had nothing to do with the spring game attendance.

Gailey had his share of bad losses. O'Leary did as well. That Middle Tennessee State team we lost to would have destroyed the Duke team that Gailey got blown out by.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@inoto20 That's cute.   I think you forgot to mention that there was monsoon that night.

GTBob
GTBob

@wrecked Chan Gailey had a few more stars, CPJ had far more depth. Being all ACC doesn't mean much when the players around you are all 2 star talent. Neither coach recruited very well. Like I said, Gailey had one class ranked in the top 50. As far as the rosters go, I would take the 2013 roster over all of those rosters except the 2006 roster. 2006 was a pretty good team we pretty much wasted.

inoto20
inoto20

127 people dumbarse. If people cared, they would have gone.

inoto20
inoto20

@GeorgeStein @inoto20 

Wow so that pathetic a number is blamed on some rain. And no, it wasn't a "monsoon".

Fact is attendance at football games has been dwindling the past 4 years. The reasons are obvious. Fans are tired of the system the coach uses and tired of losing to teams they use to beat on occasion. Miami, vt clemson and uga all dominate gt now. Aside from uga, that wasn't the case before. 

GTBob
GTBob

@Birmingham__Jacket I was ready for Gailey to go. CPJ in my eyes has earned a bit more time. I also don't think I define failure the same way you do. I never even thought of Gailey as a failure, I just didn't think he was capable of doing any better. I don't have the same feeling about CPJ yet.

inoto20
inoto20

@GTBob @wrecked Not a few. A lot. Gt has several players in the nfl right now starting in the nfl. PJ zero. And hill is close to getting cut from the jets. Looking at recruiting rankings is asinine. Because you are comparing apples to oranges. PJ recruits different style players. Smaller players. For his system. CGO and CCG got similar star players but in a diffferent system and many were given low star ratings because they weren't recruited by big name schools but they excelled at gt and went on to become stars. 

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@inoto20  I care, and I live two miles away.   I didn't go because there was no point in going to watch a pretend game in wet, freezing weather.

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 127 was a number made up by a UGA fan. It was actually around 1500-2000.

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 Attendance the last 4 years on average:

2010: 46449

2011: 48232

2012: 43955

2013: 49077

You should really check your facts. Attendance isn't dwindling at all.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@inoto20 Monsoon was the term used in the article you linked to.   Try again, idiot.

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 About 90% of the players that CCG and CGO recruited were no name players. Some of them were bound to be good. That doesn't make them great recruiters. At this point in Gailey's career (right after he was fired) he didn't haven anymore NFL players than CPJ has produced.

inoto20
inoto20

@GTBob @inoto20 If you want to believe those bogus numbers go right ahead. You can look at the stands and tell attendance has fallen dramatically over the last 4 years

inoto20
inoto20

@GeorgeStein @inoto20 Wasn't used in the article either liar.  It was a comment made by someone.  But i guess you're too ignorant to tell the difference

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 Hired new coaches, made changes to the defense and offense, bulked up the recruiting staff, changed a good bit of his recruiting philosophy, etc. He is actually trying to figure things out, and is well motivated to do it. Plus I have a well functioning brain that allows me to remember more than 4 years in the past. I have seen CPJ produce good teams, one of which won an ACC championship. I never saw Gailey do the same.

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 Yep, everyone who doesn't attend the spring game in cold pouring down rain on a Friday night just doesn't care about their team.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@inoto20 It's so obvious I don't care that I post on AJC blogs about Tech football.

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 lol. You don't believe much do you? I look at the stands almost every home game and I can tell you that there is no drop in attendance. Sorry, but you have nothing to back up your argument here. As much as you want it to be true, it isn't.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@inoto20 I'm sensing a trend here.   Any fact with which you disagree is not real.   You're basically a flat-earther.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@inoto20 So a quote from someone doesn't qualify as "in the article?"   Makes sense.

inoto20
inoto20

@GTBob @inoto20 Of course you will say that! You're a PJ pumper! Even the radio and tv guys who do the games have talked about how attendance has fallen. And no i don't believe those numbers. I believe my eyes.

inoto20
inoto20

@GeorgeStein @inoto20 The fact is gt football is regressing under the current coach. He's beaten clemson once over the past 4 years and lost to vt miami and uga 4 in a row. No other gt coach ever had that kind of abysmal failure against the best teams on the schedule.

inoto20
inoto20

@GeorgeStein @inoto20 Um no of course not. But in your demented life maybe it does.  So using your logic, i can quote a comment in this comment section and say that is part of the article??? Pretending it was something that MC wrote? Wow you really are a moron.

inoto20
inoto20

Sorry my facts go against your support for a lousy program in disarray. 

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 UGA had around 40k for their spring game in good weather. Are you saying that the hundred of thousands that didn't attend the UGA spring game aren't really UGA fans?

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@inoto20 Dude, you're the same clown who thinks Jason Heyward is no good.   Go pound sand.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@inoto20 Really?  Provide the YouTube clip, please.   Every game is on YouTube.   Find it.

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 You believe whatever fits the narrative in your head, no matter what reality says.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@inoto20 No, because the author chose to include that screengrab of the tweet.

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 lol. A program in disarray. Im not sure you know what a program in disarray actually looks like.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@GTBob @inoto20

Johnson's problem is Georgia.  History has proven you CANNOT just keep losing to your in-state rival.  Not when teams like Vanderbilt are beating them.

inoto20
inoto20

@GTBob @inoto20 Reality proves my facts correct. You and georgie go only on your devotion to pj. Which means you're either a relative to him or work for him. So which is it? Cause most fans are tired of the incompetence and losing to the same teams over and over.

GTBob
GTBob

@Birmingham__Jacket Then GT will keep hiring and firing coaches because there isn't a coach in college football that is going to come here and start beating them more than once or twice every 10 years. Also, Vandy has lost 17 of 19 to UGA. Im not sure they are the best example to use for teams that are beating UGA. Congrats to them for pulling one off this year but most will just laugh at the anomaly.

FBYJ
FBYJ

@inoto20 @GTBob I've read your comments with great interest, but you really are beginning to bore me.  You whine and complain and offer opinions, but you have no data to back up your opinions.  Furthermore, you dispute the data that IS presented ... just because it doesn't support your opinions.  As a long-time GT fan AND a supporter of the current administration and coaching staff, I suggest you adopt Georgia State, Kennesaw, or Georgia Southern as your team of choice.  Shoot ... if you go with Georgia State, you'll have no way to go EXCEPT UP!

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 No, reality really doesn't. I gave you the numbers. They aren't made up. They are just too painful for you to believe them. You can cry about what you supposedly saw all you want, I have seen something different and I actually have numbers to back me up.

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 Yep. 7 wins a season, and a 19-13 conference record in the last 4 years. We are obviously a program that has completely destroyed itself and can't come close to competing anymore.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

Nah. Vandy is not a good example, but we're certainly historically better than Vandy. We can do better than 10-20% against UGA. Not 50%, but 33%-35% isn't unreasonable.

UGA has had some good teams under Richt, but we've squandered multiple great opportunities.

UGA isn't the Goliath you make them out to be. They are on par with Auburn---and not even that good. And we've own our last 2 matchup against Auburn, with less than spectacular teams.

You won't like the example, but OLeary played UGA successfully.

inoto20
inoto20

@GTBob @inoto20 Oh yes they are true and real! Like no numbers would ever be fudged! Idiots like you believe numbers the govt puts out too re unemployment. 

Gotta go. Got better things to do than waste time arguing with you two imbeciles.  2014 will be great. Another 4 losses to clem vt miami and uga. That'll make 5 in a row! 

We'll see how fans are when they finish at best 6-6 and another bowl loss to a crap team. Adios losers

GTBob
GTBob

@inoto20 lol. This discussion didn't go as well as you had hoped, did it?