There has been a lot of recent discussion surrounding an early signing period for football like there is for basketball. It looks like the NCAA will give the idea some serious consideration going forward as soon as next year. The SEC coaches talked over the idea and decided that, were an early signing period enacted, it should be one day around Thanksgiving. Prospects that want to sign should not have taken official visits to schools. And then the traditional National Signing Day would stay the same for everyone else.
Fans have long talked about the need for an early football signing period as an equalizer for schools, like Kentucky, that aren’t national powers. To prevent those power programs from swooping in at the eleventh hour and flipping prized recruits. They also argue that it saves the player from dealing with opposing coaches recruiting pitches for 3 additional months.
I see no point in it whatsoever. The only thing an early signing day would do is alleviate phone calls to signed prospects and cause a hundred new headaches. What happens when a coach gets fired after losing a bowl game and ten kids have signed binding letters of intent? What happens when a kid signs with one school then watches that school sign three other players at his position two months later when he thought he was the guy? Scenarios go on and on, but I just fail to see anything that makes the change worth it.
It won’t stop recruiting flips, it will just cause the big schools to try to flip kids two months earlier. Or push hard for official visits to preclude an early signing. And honestly, if a player flips it’s because he really wanted an offer to the school he went to at the end anyway. So how is this a measure to help the player? Saving a kid two months of phone calls and Twitter DMs?
And why would college football change what has become a premier event every year in National Signing Day? All day coverage of kids picking hats off of tables is good publicity and surely earns a nice fat check from ESPN. It’s immensely popular. Here at WBN, Signing Day has set new records almost every year I’ve been here for traffic. There is simply no incentive to change the way it is currently done that makes sense to me.
Maybe I’m wrong or at least haven’t considered all of the angles. I’d love to discuss it with you in the comment section below.