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If it is ok for basketball why not football. To me there are advantages for both the players and universities.
Advantage to the athletes:
1. It locks them into that years class which takes "losing" their spot out of the equation.
2. It keeps them from being stalked by other coaching staffs long after they have made their final decision so they can focus on their senior season and academics.
3. Make a provision that if an athlete signs early and then the head coach is fired or resigns his early letter of intent is voided and he can sign with another school in the late period.
Advantage to the University:
1. The players that are 100% solid to their school can sign and the time spent keeping the players "in the fold" can be spent elsewhere.
2. If a player has committed to you and then does not want to sign in the early period you know that he really is not committed and can keep shopping.
3. Have a provision that if a player signs in the early period and is later arrested for a felony the university can void his letter of intent. This places the responsibility of player conduct "off the field" on the player even before he arrives on campus.
I just don't see a reason why it would be bad for either party. If a kid wants to sign a few months early and the school wants to secure his services, Why not?
Early Signing Date: 1st Wednesday of September
Late Signing Date: 1st Wednesday of February
"The (All In) Family"
Just a day in the life, I'm narrating the scene
It's such a huge decision that I think we should give them as much time as possible. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was 17...but imagine I'm a star athlete and sign in September with Bama. Then I have this great science class that makes me decide I wanna be a vet....while it would be unpopular to say here, knowing I want to be a vet and dont have NFL talent, Auburn is a better choice for me because Bama doesnt have vet school....but because of hte early signing period, I'm locked in.
If anything, I say leave it as is and then have much more lenient policy for getting out of your letter of intent or transferring with immediate eligibility for a valid reason, such as the one above. Is it the best for football and competitive fairness?? Probably not---is it the best for getting kids to the school best suited to their needs? I think so.
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