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Would you be in favor of an early signing period for college football?



hail2victors9's picture

I like the idea of an early signing option, but I think it should have an "out clause."  There would be very few scenarios to release a signee, such as:  Head coach departing, Sanctions/penalties against the school, or a major life changing event for the player.
The one thing that I'd really like to see implemented is allowing recruits to take official visits as Juniors.  You can still cap it at five, but more and more kids are either taking unofficials on their own dime, committing somewhere and then taking your officials, or not visiting any one until "late" in the process.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

boojtastic's picture

I would agree with you completely if early signees were adults, but juniors in high school are overwhelmingly not. Children are not permitted to drink, vote, consent to sex or do any number of other things because children are incapable of protecting themselves from adults. Any binding agreements that they sign are legally voidable, and most importantly, they should be legally voidable because, lest we forget, they're children.
Even if you think a 17 year old is capable of determining his future (and many are), the NCAA would lose any court case challenging this rule, and it wouldn't even be close.

rdubs's picture

Just to clarify, that is why the parents are required to sign.  Remember when that running back's mom skipped town with the LOI form?  That was because she didn't want to sign it.  They found the kid's dad and then she sued.  Weird story, but the point is that parents cosign these things so that they do have a bit more legal standing.  

boojtastic's picture

Fair point; I had forgotten that Arkansas story. But even if the bases are covered from a legal standpoint with parental consent, this is a moral issue as well. Can a parent/guardian's consent obligate a child well into his twenties? Maybe it can. But it shouldn't.

Alhan's picture

I would like to see the early option for those players (Bosa) that know for sure they want to be a Buckeye (or whatever school), but I wouldn't go so far as to make it binding for both parties.  I think that binding a player to a school that dazzled in the moment would hurt the young prospects who are still figuring out how they want to approach their future and didn't realize that what they really wanted was still out there.

Edit: By binding for both parties,I am referring to the first voting option about all commitments. I think if someone wants to commit and sign a letter of intent early, that should be binding for both parties, but with some severance clauses as Hail suggests.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

buckeye76BHop's picture

I say make them sign early....I'm not sure about many of you all...but why have more Anzalone situations...???  Just seems to make sense to me...get em in and then they can't be so indecisive...whether they're 16 or 17 year olds or not.  Make a decision and stick with it...

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Alhan's picture

I'd argue they'd be indecisive anyway if you forced them to sign early. I would rather have someone who wanted to be at the school completely than someone who was forced to be there because they made a hasty decision that they later regret.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

rdubs's picture

To be clear the early signing period for basketball is voluntary.  Nothing forces any recruit to sign.  It does force coaches to decide whether they really want that player or whether they should wait for someone else.  Which is the exact scenario we are trying to replicate.

jeremytwoface's picture

I don't want situations like Anzalone, but I would love more situations like Se'Von Pittman and Kyle Dodson.

And when we win the game, we'll buy a keg of boooooooooze!! And we'll drink to old Ohio 'till we wobble in our shoes.

Nappy's picture

I dont think they should be forced to sign with a school before they're ready, but the ones who are certain should be able to make it official.  And I agree with Hail, there should be a couple scenarios that would release the player from his commitment.

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

ATT2121's picture

Since Urban has arrived we have benefited from recruits changing their mind at the last minute, but it cuts both ways. You have to take the good with the bad.


"It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it's close."
Jesse Owens

Boxley's picture

Making a 17 year old be locked in to a early commitment is subject to abuse. These kids do not know what they want for lunch today, let alone a year from now. As we saw recently with the kid from up North, a great weekend visit and you are locked in before you ever see any other school oficially? This is a bad idea for the student, the only winner is the school, and you know what, they already make enough off of these kids, let's not give them even more leverage.
There is too much room for mistakes by signing before a season ends and the coaching change carousel begins.
We are talking about the single most significant choice career wise these kids will be making, actually their last one, regarding football. After college, they will go with whomever picks them, not the other way around. This is way too big of a decision to be locked into prior to January of any year.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

20sider's picture

Probably in the minority on this, but I don't think any school in any sport should be allowed to recruit kids prior to their junior year in high school. Pretty straight forward in my opinion. They are kids, let them be kids.


UrbzRenewal's picture

I am entirely against this because of the turnover in the coaching industry. It would make things simpler. If they wanted to sign I think they should, but under certain circumstances I don't think it should be binding.

JollyFatMan's picture

I think it should be, if you commit, you sign.. NCAA Football style. Need to man up and take responsibility for your decisions. 

How firm thy friendship..

USMCBUCKEYE82's picture

I think that if the young men who have seriously already made up their minds should be able to sign early. There should be some release clauses in place for reasons in which Hail has already stated. 
But then on the other hand, we see today that most of them are still kids not knowing what they are doing outside of the game itself. I could see this becoming a huge problem if a kid makes a young irresponsible love at first sight type of decision. Some have used Anazalone, I don't know if that is that great of an example, since it was his family(dad) who was the one pulling the strings in the decision making. I see some schools going ahem southern schools pulling out all the stops legal or not to dazzle a blue chip to get the kid to sign before he leaves town.
I could be completely wrong though. Just my two cents and probably what it is really worth if that.
When does August 1st start?!?!?!

USMC11917's picture

I didn't bother reading through the other suggestions do to time constraints, so I apologize if I am repeating something. I know I'll be in the minority here but I like commitments meaning just that. I do agree that there are reasons that a commitment should be released, example; coaches moving on, probation and the like, but either wait till the kid is 18 and utilize a binding contract or allow a parent to sign a binding contract for there underage child. (Not an 8th grader please) I say if a kid reneges on that contract, you make them sit out a year before signing with said new team. I know these are life altering choices but such is the importance I place on giving my word.

Kaceybrown's picture

If the United States Army can sign a recruit under he age of 18 up for service to defend the constitution of the United States and get consent from the parents then colleges should be able to do it the same way. IMHO. Maybe the parents should take responsibility by becoming more involved and making sure the child understands all of his/hers options.