Yesterday, the NCAA announced that it was considering an early signing period for Division 1 football recruits only. The new proposal would set two earlier, 72-hour periods wherein recruits could sign with colleges: one in the middle of June, the other in the middle of December.
The movements allow for Division 1 recruits to sign before their season begins, ending all suspicions and effectively shutting down their recruitment during the season. While this could be a huge benefit to kids looking to end their recruitment early, there are plenty of ways this could go wrong too.
For instance, what happens if a kid commits early, but his dream school wants to offer him? What happens if a kid explodes during his senior year, grows two inches, and is all of a sudden one of the most desirable recruits in the state? There’s several drawbacks to committing early that could really injure the player’s career down the line.
On the flip side, there’s the benefit of getting the sometimes excruciatingly exposing recruiting process done early, and not have to worry about any other schools courting you. Football takes up a lot of time in addition to school, and there’s some serious pressure that comes along with choosing a school. You sometimes have the fans of the school tweeting at you at all hours of the day and night, trying to convince you to join their school’s team or being derogatory when you don’t choose them. You have everything that goes along with texts, calls, and visits from coaches. For the top level recruits, sometimes you have the choice between going to a smaller school and being the hero or going to a bigger school, winning a bunch, but potentially having to sit behind other stars or losing their spots to other talented players.
Ultimately, there will be drawbacks and benefits to any ruling. No rule imposed will ever be perfect, but this one is going to have bigger drawbacks and benefits than anything before it.