March 10th, 2014 10:26 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Georgia Mark Richt, NCAA, recruiting, Stanford David Shaw
For years there has been an assumption in the press that most football coaches would fall all over themselves to rubber stamp an early recruiting period for their sport. But that has not been the reaction to word that the NCAA will soon discuss creating just such a window.
Speaking to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, here’s what Georgia’s Mark Richt had to say:
“I always say, ‘Be careful what we ask for’ because I don’t know what that will do to our recruiting calendar. I think there’s some sanity to it right now. I think if everybody plays by the same rules, then it’s good as it is. I’d be afraid to change it. I don’t want to turn the regular season into such a recruiting frenzy that you can’t even coach your team on a weekly basis. I enjoy coaching football, too.
I think if you moved the signing date up, I think you push more official visits to the football season. Sooner or later, they’ll say, ‘We don’t want all these official visits during the season. Why don’t we move them to the summer?’ Then we’ll have official visits in the summer, and no one will get any time away. Not me, not our assistant coaches, not the kids, not the high school coaches, and not the families. Where does it end?”
That’s just one concern. Stanford’s David Shaw voiced another and his concerns make as much sense as Richt’s:
“What’s going to happen is, if a kid wants to change his mind late after the early signing period, he’s going to appeal and that appeal is going to go through because the committees that decide those appeals, they always give in toward the student-athlete. So you have a kid that might be 16 going on 17 that commits and then really has a chance to think about it and changes his mind and we’re going to try to hold him to it.”
The NCAA’s consideration of an early signing period for football appears to be very real. But the devil is in the details, as they say. And the more one compares the pluses — some coaches won’t have kids flip on them late — versus the minuses — no downtime for coaches and players, committees to rule on signed kids who want to flip, a tougher landscape for coaches at academic schools and at schools with little in-state talent — the more the negatives appear to outweigh the positives.
The official MrSEC.com verdict on this idea? It’s unnecessary. Don’t do it, NCAA.
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