Is Mark Richt in favor of the proposed early signing period?

Mark Richt (AJC)

Mark Richt (AJC)

Is UGA’s Mark Richt in favor of the proposed early signing period?

It sure doesn’t sound like it.

“I don’t know about an early signing period,” Richt told the AJC. “I just don’t know how that would affect our recruiting calendar. I think there are always unintended consequences when you change rules — or if you make a new one.

“And I think it’s just the uncertainty of what it would do to that recruiting calendar, as far as speeding things up even more than how they are today.”

An NCAA-related committee will consider a recommendation for an early signing period for football when the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) meets in June. If adopted, the new early date would begin on Dec. 16 and last for 72 hours, per CBSSports.com. It would go into effect immediately for this year’s recruiting class of 2016 prospects, and last for two years as an “experiment.”

Richt, who often shies away from stating his opinions, seemed passionate when discussing why an early signing period might not be as good of an idea as many people make it out to be.

“I do think coaches want to coach their team during the season — and make sure we’re doing everything we can to be prepared for our ballgames and for our season,” Richt said. “Moving up the signing date might increase the number of official visits in the season. People might start wanting to do official visits in the summer.

“I just don’t know what would happen with any unintended consequences with that decision.”

And in case Richt wasn’t clear on the matter, he added this: “I don’t want to speak for every single coach in the SEC but I think by in large we are in favor for not changing it.”

“Yes, I’d leave the calendar alone right now.”

Editor’s note: I’ve said this many times before, but I’m also against an early signing period – and it has nothing to do with college football coaches being a little inconvenienced during the season. No, it has strictly to do with the kids. Earlier this month, you saw a dark side of recruiting – college assistants taking other jobs almost immediately after signing day. Almost as soon as the ink was dry from the kids signing scholarship papers, the coaches who had lured them there were gone. It was dirty and deceptive, and a flat-out disgrace to college football. Now common sense would tell you that the NCAA would include a clause in the proposal for the early signing period to give the kids an “automatic release” if there’s a coaching change. You would think that, right? But guess what? Nope. Here are the exact words from the NCAA: “Currently there is no exception for a coaching change with any of the signing periods. This was not part of the working group’s recommendation.” Without that clause, the early signing period is setting up to be a disaster.

That’s my opinion. What is YOURS? Please post below.


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