Early College Football Recruiting Signing Period Approved

Chris Balas, Senior Editor
TheWolverine.com

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Photo by Brandon Brown

The NCAA Division I Council on Friday approved an early signing period for football recruiting, though it won't be made official until a June vote. The Collegiate Commissioners Association must sign off on the change as well after the Football Bowl Subdivision members voted 14-1 for the proposal.

The early signing period is to include a 72-hour signing windows for high school seniors beginning the third Wednesday in December. National Signing Day will still be the first Wednesday in February.

Per the NCAA's official release, new legislation accomplishes the following:

"It changes the recruiting calendar to allow for an early signing period in December (effective Aug. 1)," the NCAA said in its official release. "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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