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Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Column: A vision for college football recruiting’s future

As National Signing Day came to a close Wednesday, folks around the country unleashed a large sigh of relief.

For the recruits, the process was finally over. After months of phone calls, visits and all sorts of sales pitches from coaching staffs, they know where they are going to play collegiate football.

For college coaches, they can turn their attention to next year’s recruits and spring ball, where they will get their first chances to see some of their new recruits in action.

Signing Day and the weeks leading up to it are an exhausting, exciting spectacle, and the day is becoming an essential annual event on the college football calendar.

That said, a lot of lives would be much easier if Signing Day was not the hoopla it has become. Every year, there is a movement for an early Signing Day to be implemented for college football like it is for college basketball.

Basketball recruits can sign their binding letter of intent during November and put an end to recruitment then and there. Many players do this, including the entire 2012 IU basketball recruiting class. It lets them focus on their senior seasons and the coaches to focus on the players they already have.

An early Signing Day for football would also go a long way toward curbing issues with players spurning schools late.

If a player truly wants to play for a school, let him sign early and prove it to his future school. That way, the school knows which players it has and which positions it needs to concentrate on late in the process.

Were such an early Signing Day to be legislated into existence by the NCAA, provisions for certain situations could be created when they arise. The most likely provision would be in response to coaching changes. If a player commits to a school that later either fires its coach or sees its head man leave for another job, the recruit could be released from his letter of intent.

A school could also be allowed to void a letter of intent if legitimate concerns arise concerning a player’s academics.

But at the same time, is this time of year not a lot of fun? An early Signing Day would not completely eliminate the excitement surrounding recruits’ decisions, but with fewer recruits deciding, the potential for a school’s class to take a huge step forward or back would be gone.

That’s part of what makes this week exciting, and in the offseason, that can be hard to come by.

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