Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Column: New rule could distract high school football recruits


An early, extra letter-of-intent signing window of three days in mid-December could be voted into existence as early as today or Wednesday for college football recruits. As it stands, football signing day is the first Wednesday of February.

Lawrence High coach Dirk Wedd, for one, doesn’t like the impact it could have on high school football, especially if it means high school players to make official visits to college campuses during the fall.

“It’s not a good scenario for a high school player to leave late Friday night, or early Saturday morning, to get on a plane, fly across country and miss out on Saturday film with his teammates. Obviously every college is going to show him a good time, so that means he’s going to be up until 1 or 2 or 3 in the morning. That’s part of a visit, I understand that,” Wedd said. “Then he hops on a plane Sunday afternoon, gets back Sunday evening, and we expect him to get up, go to school, be rested for class and then have a good practice.”

It’s not a realistic expectation to put on a teenager, Wedd said.

“He’s going to have a bad week and a bad week of practice,” Wedd said. “It doesn’t make sense. If they want to change the signing date, change it to the middle of summer where they can visit in May or June and make a decision before high school season starts.”

Wedd said he also believes that such a system would put undue pressure on recruits.

“If college starts to tell recruits they need to take visits in the fall, so they can sign in December, you’re putting kids in a position to make a choice between being there with lifelong teammates and making an official visit,” Wedd said.

Free State High coach Bob Lisher said colleges interested in his players sometimes give them tickets to their games.

“I’m OK with them missing (Saturday film) to do that already. But if this interferes with our season, that could be a problem,” Lisher said. “If they had the visiting period after the high school season is over, I could see where the early signing period could be a good thing and relieve some stress for the kids.”

For players on teams in the playoffs, that would make for a very small visiting period, but it would be preferable to disrupting an athlete’s senior season.

The Collegiate Commissioners Association will vote on whether to implement the additional signing period at their ongoing annual convention in Asheville, North Carolina. We’ll find out if they care about high school football, the primary feeder to a big-money game.


Brett McCabe 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't know if a second signing period is needed but, if it is, it would make sense to make it a summer signing date. Most seniors have attended camps over the summer, have had the opportunity to make some campus visits, etc. Kids who know where they want to go can sign early, eliminate distractions and clear the table for others in the recruiting process.

Two ideas that the NCAA should consider to make the college game as popular as the pro game:

  1. Adopt the early signing period but limit it to 10 players. This gives the remaining prospects an opportunity to scan the field and see where they might fit best. This would help spread recruits out among different programs.

  2. Allow any team who finishes below .500 in conference to add 2 scholarships to the yearly and total allotment. Do this any and every year the program is sub-500. Why? Use Kansas as an example. We are very short on bodies, and it will take several years to fix the problem. On a five-year turnaround, this would mean 8 to 10 additional scholarship players on the roster. For KU, this would be a huge bonus in getting the depth and talent needed to compete.

Parity makes the NFL stronger. College football could benefit from the same.

William Weissbeck 6 years, 11 months ago

Sure what you say makes sense, but to the big college programs (not Kansas), that's not what they want. Look at Ohio State - do you think they want to share some of their QB's? Look how many QB's go through ND?

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 11 months ago

Easy fix to this would not be to make it during December, but the first Wednesday of September just like how they have it the first Wednesday of February. Kids can focus on school and football.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.