FBS commissioners shelve early signing period


After two days of debating over an early signing period, FBS commissions voted Wednesday not to have one this recruiting cycle.

According to reports, the decision was tabled for one year and the Collegiate Commissioners Association will reconsider the early signing period proposal at the 2016 meetings in Asheville, N.C.

The proposal, if passed on a two-year trial basis, would have instituted a 72-hour signing period for high school recruits this December, in conjunction with the junior college signing date (Dec. 16).

In a story with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier spoke out against the proposal. More than a half dozen coaches, including Tennessee’s Butch Jones, Miami’s Al Golden and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, supported the idea.

Florida Jim McElwain, much Georgia’s Mark Richt, felt uncertain about how it would affect college football recruiting.

Here are McElwain’s comments to the AJC:

 “Well, it’s one of those deals that as long as everybody is working under the same guidelines, (we’ll deal with it). I think there’s a lot of merit to it. At times, the things that happen to you with a lot of kids, they want to go to a place, so let’s get it over with (and sign early). I think it will really help in the long run, yet part of what happens is going to be tough. Think about us, coming in late (this year after being hired at Florida), how hard that would’ve been for us to get an opportunity to recruit some of these guys (if there was an early signing period). I think it’s one of those things that is needed, but I’m not sure any of us know the ramifications will be once it goes down.”

“When are you going to be able to get some guys on campus? Obviously, you’re going to have to hustle during the season for your visits. That will be interesting. You know, I’m not sure about the exact best way to do it. I think maybe going into a kid’s senior year (he could sign), if he’s prepared to do that. Maybe an August period is the way to go. And that way you don’t have the distractions for the high school coaches during their season. It will be interesting to see how it all falls out.”