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NCAA moves forward with December signing date, drops June signing date

Late Tuesday night the NCAA released an update from a long day of meetings centered around proposed changes to the football recruiting calendar.

The Division I Football Oversight Committee continued its support for a December signing period -- coinciding with the current junior college signing period -- but dropped its recommendation to add a June signing date. The AFCA came out strongly against a June signing period during last week's convention, and a poll of top recruits spread across four classes also favored December over June.

"What we heard from the coaches at the American Football Coaches Association meetings that the June signing date was problematic," Division I Football Oversight Committee chair and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. "We knew one of the charges to our committee was to open earlier access. We will continue to look for an earlier signing date than mid-December, but we will move ahead on the other parts of the process. This is a significant move forward in football recruiting. We think it is student-athlete-friendly, family-friendly and coach-friendly."

The committee's continued support for a signing date before December is confusing considering the market -- coaches and recruits -- rejected any proposals that called for players to sign before their senior football seasons were complete, but this is the NCAA.

Elsewhere, the Oversight Committee recommended altering the official visit calendar to allow juniors to take visits from April 1 through the Sunday before the last Wednesday in June (that would be June 24 if approved for the 2017-18 recruiting cycle.) The previous recommendation called for juniors to be permitted to take visits from June 1 through the Saturday before the last Wednesday in June and again from July 25 through July 31.

The Oversight Committee will now forward its recommendations to the Division I Council, which will vote on the proposals "as early as April."

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.