The NCAA has extended the dead period through April 15, the organization announced Wednesday.

This move has been expected for a while now, but became official today. The move is significant because it means a full calendar year will pass without business-as-usual in the recruiting world.

“The COVID-19 numbers are not trending in the right direction for the Council to allow in-person recruiting and the associated long-distance travel for coaches, prospective student-athletes and their families,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “We acknowledge the impact the restrictions are having on student-athletes who dream of being Division I athletes, but we must prioritize the health and safety of current and potential student-athletes and their families, as well as coaches and others on campus.”

In a corresponding move, the NCAA moved to allow all coaches, “full-time school staff members” and even current students to participate in recruiting calls without countable coaches being present. So players, GAs, analysts and QCs are now free to dial away. “This flexibility, proposed by the Football Oversight Committee, includes volunteer coaches in the Football Championship Subdivision,” the release added.

If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that the progress on vaccines mean that mayyyyybe by April 16 coaches will be allowed to hit the road again. But Wednesday’s news confirms that the 2021 class will be recruited entirely via long distance, much of the 2022 class will be recruited the same way, and the 2023 class is now close to following the same path.

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

National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.