NCAA Approves Early CFB Recruit Signing Period, More Recruitment Changes

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 16: The NCAA logo is seen in the second half of the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 16, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NCAA announced changes to the recruitment process for potential Division I football players Friday that aim to provide a "more transparent" environment.

Student-athletes are now allowed to begin official visits to interested schools earlier and will receive more access to coaches from those programs under the plan put forward by the Division I Council. The new standards are part of an effort to become "better tied to high schools."

Division I Council chair Jim Phillips, who also serves as Northwestern's vice president for athletics and recreation, released a statement about the changes as part of the official announcement:

Today's adoption of the football legislation marks the most significant progress in recent years to improve the football environment and culture for current and prospective student-athletes and coaches. Importantly, the action of the NCAA Division I Council delivers on the charge of the Division I Board of Directors to comprehensively improve the football recruiting environment. This affirms that the new Division I governance structure can effectively and timely address important issues.

Football Oversight Committee chair Bob Bowlsby added: "This is a significant move forward for football recruiting. The entire package of rule changes is friendly for students, their families and their coaches. We will continue to monitor the recruiting environment to make sure the rules work as intended, and we will suggest adjustments when necessary."

Other alterations to the rules include adding an early signing period in December, preventing the hiring of individuals "close to a prospective student-athlete" for two years before and after an a player's enrollment and the addition of a 10th assistant coach for FBS programs.

The announcement also covered the controversial satellite camps, which have faced backlash from some coaches and underwent several changes in recent years.

Coaches may now only participate in camps or clinics for 10 days in June or July. In addition, the NCAA ruled those events must "take place on a school's campus or in facilities regularly used by the school for practice or competition."

While the restrictions on time and placement increased, coaches are now free to engage in "recruiting conversations" with student-athletes taking part in the camp.

All of the changes will go into effect no later than Aug. 1 except for the 10th assistant coach. That's scheduled to be implemented on Jan. 9, 2018 following the 2017 college football season.


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