The quagmire that is the effort by some to have an early signing period for recruits instituted is still as muddled and muddied as ever.
Case in point? The SEC. At its annual spring meetings Wednesday, the football coaches in that conference voted unanimously for an early signing period the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Such an early signing period would be for one day only and solely for recruits who had not taken any official visits; in other words, for example, a kid from Tuscaloosa who’s had his heart set on going to Alabama his whole life could end his recruitment and not put up with an additional two months or so of recruiting pitches from rival programs.
While the vote was unanimous, it’s far from cut and dry.
“Not everybody agreed there should be an early signing date,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt, the dean of SEC football coaches, said. “But everybody agreed on a date if there is going to be an early signing day.
“Our biggest fear was making our season crazy with recruiting. We want to coach our teams. We didn’t want the recruiting calendar to move up, but if you have a guy that wants to sign early, let him sign.”
Additionally, SEC commissioner Mike Slive, one of the most powerful men in the sport, stated this evening that he hopes there’s no early signing period added, that he wishes early February would continue to be the only National Signing Day.
As you can imagine with not even everyone in the same conference agreeing on whether there should be an early signing day, it will be damn-near impossible to get a consensus nationally. The ACC, for example, is pushing for an early signing day of Aug. 1.
Recruiting savant Nick Saban addressed that very subject in Destin Tuesday.
“Well, I don’t know that we’re ever going to come to a common ground or anyone’s gonna agree on something,” he said. “Some of the Northern schools, they don’t want an early signing date, because they want to be able to visit guys during the season. A lot of coaches, including myself, don’t want an inordinate amount of visits during the season because it takes away from your football team and your preparation and preparation for the next week. So I really think we’re gonna have a hard time agreeing on something that’s good for everybody, just because the regions of the country. A lot of the Northern schools don’t want kids visiting in January because it’s freezing cold and they lie to them and tell them it’s warm year-round.
“That’s something that you’ve gotta deal with. I don’t know if we’re ever going to come to common ground, in my opinion.”
Or, as Florida’s Will Muschamp said, “I don’t know if we’re ever going to come to a common ground where we’re all going to agree on something.”
The SEC’s resolution will be sent to the Conference Commissioners Association — this is a CCA issue, not an NCAA one — for evaluation and, potentially, discussion at its next scheduled meeting in June.
It’s Slive’s hope, however, that the CCA doesn’t even tackle the issue and the status quo remains in place for the foreseeable future.
“There are varying opinions as to what an early signing date should be… and for us we will continue to encourage our colleagues in the CCA to retain the current model,” Slive said. “I think our coaches have demonstrated that.”
A recruiting quagmire indeed.