Kirby Hocutt is the newest member of the College Football Playoff selection committee, but the Texas Tech athletics director and former All-Big 8 linebacker already held one position of influence within the college football machine. As the chairman of the NCAA Division I Football Recruiting Subcomittee, Hocutt was part of the group that forwarded a recommendation for an early signing period for football last month, which could come into effect as soon as this December.
“We’re a lot closer to it than a lot of people realize,” Hocutt said Tuesday on KTTU-FM in Lubbock. “As y’all know, the National Letter of Intent process is outside of the NCAA umbrella, it’s a process that is governed by the Conference Commissioners Association. The last few months I’ve served on a Conference Commissioners Association working group and committee to discuss and explore an early signing date in football. We left in-person meetings in Washington, D.C., a few weeks ago around the NCAA convention and we came out of that very thoughtful deliberation with a initial recommendation to consider to commence an early signing day on the third Wednesday in December, and that date is consistent with the mid-year junior college signing period.”
He then detailed exactly what hoops the legislation would need to jump through to come to life by December. Hocutt also said an early signing period would be approved first on a trial basis.
“It would not be an open period. Our thought is it would last 72 hours, so prospects would have three days if they wanted to go ahead and end the recruiting process then, they would have that opportunity. We discussed going forward with this recommendation with a two-year period so at the end of two years we could go back and review it,” he said. “The next steps are to take all of the discussion to the spring meetings that will take place in April and May and then make a formal recommendation to the conference commissioners this summer. I think if it’s teed up and the conference commissioners are in favor of the recommendation… it could be in place as early as December of 2015.”