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NCAA Set to Consider Early Signing Period for Football

An early signing period could be coming to college football as soon as the 2017-18 cycle.

The NCAA Division I council announced on Wednesday that they are looking at a proposal that would add two 72-hour signing periods to college football. The periods would take place in June and mid-December and complement the existing signing period that begins in February.

Big 12 commissioner and chair of the Football Oversight Committee Bob Bowlsby said in a statement, “The working group did a deep dive on recruiting from beginning to end, and I think what we came up with as a proposal is both student-athlete-friendly and coach- and staff-friendly."

Brandon Huffman, Scout's National Director of Recruiting, says he wonders how separate signing periods will affect early scholarship offers. "Will coaches be as willing to throw offers out during the spring evaluation period as they have been the last couple years, knowing that a recruit could sign in June as opposed to early enrolling in January and signing in December or waiting until Signing Day in February?" said Huffman. "And will recruits -- who are likely committing to hold a spot -- going to commit to a school and then not sign in June?  The transparency issue will work on both sides, but I think this will greatly affect how many early offers a school throws out since they will now risk having a recruit want to sign with said school.  And a recruit could then see how sincere, or insincere, that offer is if a school offers during the spring and then doesn’t allow them to sign in June."

Huffman added: “The December signing period isn’t as big of a deal. Early enrollees have been signing these for a couple of years.  I’m more intrigued by the June signing period, right after the spring evaluation period and camp circuit at many schools."

Additionally, the NCAA Division 1 Council is looking at adding a 10th assistant coach to college football coaching staffs and will consider modifying the current rules surrounding satellite camps in June. The committee will examine the issues in depth in the upcoming year.

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