As Harvey Sees It: June officials

The art of recruiting is changing. Maybe Coach Ferentz and the Big Ten is right. Maybe it's time for the NCAA to change with it.

A couple of years ago I met a rising D-1 prospect at a football camp in Dallas. A junior, a player who will remain nameless, had three offers going into the summer before his senior year.

Not exactly blessed with wealthy parents, he was not able to make any camps or take unofficial visits during the summer.

Sticking to his guns that he would like to visit a school before he committed, he waited until the season rolled around so that he could take official visits.

The problem was his recruiters weren't waiting. They were trying to fill his position as fast as they could. It's the nature of college football these days.

With his high school's crazy practice schedule and winning season, he was not able to take visits until after his senior year wrapped up.

By then, he only had one scholarship remaining. He took it quickly. In fear that if he waited to visit anymore schools, he might lose it as well.

It's a sad story for many high school prospects these days. The pressures to commit to a school before they even set foot on campus with their family is ridiculous. It's why I agree with Coach Ferentz and the other Big Ten coaches' idea to let kids take official visits in June. The art of recruiting is changing in college football. Whether the NCAA and conferences agree or disagree with it, it's time for them to catch up.

"I think it would be a healthy thing, but it's probably years away right now," said Coach Ferentz at Big Ten media days. "We are doing everything totally backwards. I think a big part of recruiting in my mind is for prospects and families to come on campus and really spend time investigating to make sure they know what they are getting."

This is the second year that such a measure has been discussed. At this point, almost all the Big Ten coaches seem in favor of the change. Currently, the NCAA does not allow recruits to take visits before their senior year begins, so a move by the Big Ten would have to be taken in front of the NCAA.

"It's something we'd like to do," Illinois head coach Ron Zook told ESPN. "Particularly if everyone keeps pushing the early signing date, it just makes sense. It gives you an opportunity to get to know them a little bit better, it gives you an opportunity to get them on your campus. Otherwise, they might be signing before their families get on campus."

I applaud kids that don't want to get wrapped up in the whole order of, committing, visiting, then de-committing. It's not good for them, it's not good for the coaching staffs, and it's not good for college football. Really I think the only person it truly benefits is us. It gives writers and fans something to talk about.

And that's how Harvey sees it.


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