SOUTH SIDE--Wednesday was a defining weekday for the ever-evolving landscape of college football.
The NCAA Division I council announced Wednesday that it is considering a proposal that would add two 72-hour signing periods, and, some hours later, ACC athletic directors voted to continue playing an eight-game league schedule with at least one Power Five nonconference game as opposed to increasing each team's yearly conference schedule to nine games.
The NCAA proposal also includes an article that would allow each program to carry a 10th assistant coach and a separate one that would limit satellite camps to 10 days.
Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi was asked about the early signing period Thursday after his team wrapped up practice in anticipation of a matchup with Georgia Tech Saturday.
"I think it benefits the schools more," Narduzzi said. "I don’t think it’s in the best interests of our student athletes. I think it just benefits us to lock them up and worry about the next one. I’m not a proponent of the early signing period. I like the process we have right now."
"It allows [teams] that have 20 scholarships to lock down 15 of them and then take their 10 assistant coaches and go focus on those five and love them up in a way that just isn’t fair or real," Narduzzi added. "There are so many kids transferring nowadays. You read the transactions, kids are transferring all over the country. Kids are making bad decisions, and I think that, the faster we make them make decisions, the worse it’s going to get."
Big 12 commissioner and chair of the Football Oversight Committee Bob Bowlsby labeled the proposal "both student-athlete-friendly and coach- and staff-friendly."
The council will further examine the proposals in the coming year.
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?" Huffman wondered.
“The December signing period isn’t as big of a deal," Huffman added. "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."
Narduzzi was also asked about the ACC's athletic directors' decision to retain eight conference games per schedule per year. He said he was "shocked" at the decision.
"I thought it was going to go the nine way," Narduzzi said. "But I think it’s great. I think it gives opportunities for you to play against other people, to play against, whether you go to the Pac 12 or the Big 10 or whoever, it gives you an opportunity to get outside the conference. I’m happy with it. It’s what we’ve been doing."
"It doesn’t change much of the structure," Narduzzi added. "The biggest thing it comes down to is, can you get the game scheduled? Scheduling is tough. I think we’re still looking for a 2018 game. It’s just hard to get the right person, the right team. And everybody across the country is having problems scheduling, so if scheduling is a problem, the nine games makes sense."