Earlier this week Tom Herman gave his thoughts on the new recruiting rules calling for an early signing period and spring official visits. Now it’s Jimbo Fisher’s turn.
Spoiler alert: They’re a lot like Herman’s.
Speaking to reporters in Pensacola, Fisher issued some after-the-fact lobbying for an August signing period. “I still think we’re wrong,” he said. “I wish it was at the end of August. You’re going to visit April, May and June. Why can you not sign in August?”
Fisher’s argument is that it would help assistant coaches by allowing them to lock up a large chunk of their recruiting class before the season starts whereas now coaches will have to recruit hard during the season ahead of the December signing period.
The arguments against an August signing period are that players will be locked into scholarship papers at schools that experience coaching changes — Fisher argues they should be let out of their scholarships — and the rebuttal of high school coaches saying players who sign in August may develop a debilitating case of Senioritis, which can develop into a fatal virus for high school teams.
But Fisher’s main objection lies in the work now plopped on the desk of every FBS assistant coach.
“Think about this as an assistant coach: You’ve got to go out all of spring, you just go through spring ball and you went through December and January signing period… April and May you’re out spring recruiting but every weekend you’re coming home now to do official visits or sometimes during the week when kids come on their spring break and then all the way through June,” he said.
“If you can sign 10, 12, 15 of those guys in August and relax because (you) know you’ve got them and not have to be in full recruit mode while the season’s going on,” Fisher continued. “The pressure that’s going to be on assistant coaches is going to be through the roof. I think it’s great that they can take visits but I think the signing day being that late is still wrong.”
Fisher also railed against the provision of the IAWP rule that prohibits high school coaches from working camps alongside their own players as a direct boost to an unregulated black market. Programs like Florida State will still need players they’re recruiting to come to Tallahassee for a camp, and most players will still need help getting there. Enter third parties.
“We keep taking the rules away from the coaches,” he said. “You ought to take it away from other people who can bring them. Put it back in the coaches’ hands. The people who are going to do it wrong… you’re promoting those guys. To take it away from a high school coach? I can’t understand that. Not being able to bring them to camp, not being able to coach a camp, I can understand some of the hiring things but how are these coaches going to progress in the business and make career jumps? Not being able to bring them to camp, I think, is a major travesty.”
“How is that good? You’re promoting the bad things of the game. (Third-parties will) be rewarded. You watch.”