The D Zone

Monday, May 8, 2017

Early Signing Day period for Football officially approved, set for December 20-22, 2017

The NCAA's Collegiate Commissioners Association today approved a new rule that is sure to shake up the recruiting process in the entire football community.  The CCA put in place another National Signing Day period which will last 72 hours from December 20th to 22nd, 2017.

Currently the Signing Day period begins on the first Wednesday of February where mostly every college receives faxes from their recruiting class.  Here and there players sign after.  The process just became more difficult for soon to be seniors who have made little to no effort of being recruited by a Division 1-FBS college.  Colleges are starting to see you in your sophomore and junior seasons now as many teams will look to have their recruiting classes complete around this upcoming time frame.

Can you blame college coaches for wanting to fill their team up with who they feel is best?  They have worked tirelessly the past few months recruiting the junior class and will be seeing them at their camps in June.  If the colleges have borderline players they normally request first 3 game films and then a decision can be made regarding an offer or not.

Last year of approximately 90 Michigan high school players who were seniors received Division 1 FBS offers only 3 received their first Division 1 FBS offer after the first day of their senior year.  The timing and constraints will only increase following the new rule.

Division 1-FCS, Division 2, Division 3, and NAIA signings are not directly impacted by this rule.  Those prospects will still go about their recruiting process and sign in February.  To our knowledge the rule is for Division 1-FBS schools.

The NCAA's press release stated:
It changes the recruiting calendar to allow for an early signing period in December (effective Aug. 1). Only the Collegiate Commissioners Association can create new National Letter of Intent signing periods. It adds a period for official visits that begins April 1 of the junior year and ends the Sunday before the last Wednesday in June of that year. Official visits can’t occur in conjunction with a prospect’s participation in a school’s camp or clinic (effective Aug. 1).

It prevents Football Bowl Subdivision schools from hiring people close to a prospective student-athlete for a two-year period before and after the student’s anticipated and actual enrollment at the school. This provision was adopted in men’s basketball in 2010 (effective immediately, though schools may honor contracts signed before Jan. 18, 2017). Football Bowl Subdivision schools are limited to signing 25 prospective and current student-athletes to a first-time financial aid agreement or a National Letter of Intent. Exceptions exclude current student-athletes who have been enrolled full-time at the school for at least two years and prospective or current student-athletes who suffer an incapacitating injury (effective for recruits who sign after Aug. 1, 2017).

It limits the time for Football Bowl Subdivision coaches to participate in camps and clinics to 10 days in June and July and requires that the camps take place on a school’s campus or in facilities regularly used by the school for practice or competition. Staff members with football-specific responsibilities are subject to the same restrictions. The Football Championship Subdivision can conduct and participate in camps during the months of June and July (effective immediately, though schools may honor contracts signed before Jan. 18, 2017).

It allows coaches employed at a camp or clinic to have recruiting conversations with prospects participating in camps and clinics and requires educational sessions at all camps and clinics detailing initial eligibility standards, gambling rules, agent rules and drug regulations (effective immediately).

It allows Football Bowl Subdivision schools to hire a 10th assistant coach (effective Jan. 9, 2018).

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