The NCAA will gather at its annual convention beginning today, and recruiting reform will be one of the hottest topics of conversation. The NCAA's Division I Football Oversight Committee meets today to discuss the recruiting proposals it first offered in October, highlighted by adding dual early signing periods in June and December.
A lot has happened between now and then, primarily feedback from the two groups most affected by changes to the recruiting calendar -- coaches and players.
The AFCA came out last week in strong support of a December signing period and even stronger rejection of the June period.
ESPN has conducted a survey of top recruits and found them largely in agreement with coaches: in favor of a December signing period, and against a June one.
A comprehensive survey of recruits from the 2015, '16, '17 and '18 classes found around 70 percent of players in favor of being able to sign in December, and while around 40 percent of those same players approve of a June signing period.
(Such a strong rejection of the June date forces one to wonder how the idea got out of the committee phase in the first place, but this is the NCAA, after all.)
Recruits' rationales mirror that of coaches' -- that a December signing period would allow prospects who made up their minds long ago to get the recruiting process over with while still offering incentive to compete through their senior seasons, while a June date would ask players and coaches to commit to one another without enough information available on either side and force high school coaches to worry if signed-away players will skip their senior seasons altogether.
Recruits also came out in favor of opening the official visit calendar into the summer, which would allow players to visit schools without interrupting their high school seasons.
While nothing will be final until April at the earliest, it now seems likely a December signing date will be in place by the end of this year. That is, if the NCAA actually listens to its constituents.