NCAA proposals made to add an early signing period, change satellite camp rules

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The NCAA’s Division I Council has proposed an early signing period for college football and will vote on proposed changes to satellite camps.

The signing change, recommended by the DI Football Oversight Committee, would add two three-day signing periods. The first would start on the last Wednesday in June and the second would happen in December coinciding with when junior college players can sign Letters of Intent.

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Recruits are currently barred from officially signing with a school until National Signing Day begins on the first Wednesday of February. Any commitment a recruit makes before NSD is considered non-binding.

“The working group did a deep dive on recruiting from beginning to end, and I think what we came up with as a proposal is both student-athlete-friendly and coach- and staff-friendly,” Big 12 commissioner and Football Oversight Committee chairman Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “We hit a sweet spot.”

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has spoken out against the possibility of an early signing period. His reasoning? High school kids change their minds. Though an early signing period could offer a recruit a sense of security in the case of an injury or other issue over his senior year.

The Council will also consider a proposal that limits coaches to attending satellite camps on 10 days and mandates that all camps “must be owned, operated and conducted by NCAA member schools and occur on the school’s campus or in facilities the school primarily uses for practice or competition.”


You can read the proposal from the NCAA here.

Satellite camps can currently be held at high schools and coaches can attend camps for two 15-day periods.

You’ll likely remember Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s great satellite camp tour of 2016 where he attended as many camps as he could during the 15-day windows. The new rule wouldn’t mandate the 10 days be consecutive, meaning coaches could attend satellite camps on 10 days over a month’s time.

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“We needed to limit the number of days (for camps and clinics) and do things differently than we did before,” Bowlsby said. “But the best chance for us to manage this is to acknowledge that the summer is about recruiting, not skill development, and to manage it in ways that reflect best on our universities and the process.”


You can read the NCAA release about satellite camps here.

An additional assistant coach is also being proposed by the council. Teams are currently limited to having nine assistant coaches. The new proposal would grant a 10th assistant.

The satellite camp changes will be voted on in April by the council and would be effective immediately. Any changes to signing periods needs to be ratified by the Division I Collegiate Commissioners Association and would go into effect in 2017.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!