Signing Day Still Eights Months Away

By Corey Carpenter on June 12, 2008 at 1:34a
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Tressel and TillerThese two would love to sign anytime.

It blows my mind that it is June 12th and Tressel has 17 verbal commitments for the 2009 season. I know his recruiting machine is well oiled right now and kids are jumping at the chance to play for him, but should they have to wait until February to sign their LOI's?

The early signing day argument is picking up steam and I have always thought there should be one. High school recruiting is at everyone's fingertips and kids are sending their Pop Warner highlight films to colleges (remember the White Reggie Bush) and those players can research their college choices from the comfort of their homes.

It seems as if being a highly recruited player is becoming a pain in the ass; college coaches, reporters, entourage members and of course the bitches want to know your every move. Can you imagine getting over a hundred text messages and phone calls per day, similar to what Terrelle Pryor went through?

Andy Staples of SI.com thinks there shouldn't be a signing day or early signing period at all, simply let kids sign their LOI's when they want.

Eliminate Signing Day entirely. Let coaches sign players whenever they want. The idea may sound irresponsible, but in practice, it would force coaches to exercise more caution lest they gamble away an entire recruiting class.

He has some valid points. Nowadays, coaches like Ron Zook and Nick Saban put their scholarships offers next to the rolls and butter on the buffet line when a recruit comes to visit and they may have 50-60 offers when it is all said and done. This type of rule would force them to have better judgment.

This would also benefit the athlete. If a student doesn't want to be bothered with the recruiting process, knows what school he wants to attend and is ready to sign, let him. Once an offer is extended, have a mandatory "think about it" couple of weeks and let the kid sign.

This would eliminate coaches from pulling scholarship from kids last minute and also eliminates letting the players string coaches along, only to change their mind on signing day.

Staples goes on to lay out some ground rules, including a required official visit and meeting with the compliance office before signing with that school.

Keep the current contact limitations in place, with a few exceptions. Allow prospects to use their five official visits whenever they choose instead of only during their senior year, and don't just allow but require that schools pay for one parent or guardian to visit with the prospect. Also, prospects would be required to take an official visit to their chosen school before signing a Letter of Intent. During that visit, the school's compliance office would be required to spend at least two hours explaining the Letter of Intent. That way, they prospect can't plead ignorance if he changes his mind.

I personally think this is a great idea, but it probably has as good of a chance of happening as a playoff does. What are your thoughts? Should athletes have to wait? Would no signing day benefit the kids or open up new ways of sleaziness amongst college coaches?

NFL News: LeCharles Bentley passed his physical, practiced Tuesday and then asked for and was granted his release from the Browns. Meanwhile, Will Smith became one of the richest defensive players yesterday, by inking a six year, seventy million dollar deal to stay in the Big Easy.

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