In an article published yesterday on the NCAA website, the Association announced that Division I will consider an early signing period and allowing members to increase the number of assistant coaches from nine to ten.
The proposal would make accommodations for two, 72-hour early signing periods beginning on the last Wednesday in June and in mid-December. The December date is also the initial time junior college players can sign a National Letter of Intent.
Because the Division I Collegiate Commissioners Association provides governance oversight for the National Letter of Intent program, the Council will ask the commissioners’ association to adopt the changes to the signing periods for Division I football.
The Division I Football Oversight Committee, spearheaded by months of work by a football recruiting working group, recommended the proposal.
Currently, the only signing period for high school football prospects begins the first Wednesday in February. Coaches and administrators have discussed creating an early signing period for years, and the Football Oversight Committee studied the issue thoroughly. Ultimately, members believe they have developed a recruiting model that balances the interests of all involved.
When considering the number of assistant coaches, the number of scholarship and walk-on players was mentioned. However, the number of players has not changed for years. My guess is that the additional on-field coach proposal comes in advance of a move to place limits on the number of quality control/analyst positions that have grown exponentially in recent years.
FBS programs can have a maximum of 85 players who receive grants-in-aid. Additionally, most programs have walk-on players. The Football Oversight Committee felt the addition of another coaching staff member will benefit football players.
“There was unanimity around the table on the addition of a 10th assistant coach being allowed (in FBS),” Bowlsby said. “We feel it is appropriate from a student-athlete welfare standpoint. The ratio of coaches to student-athlete is much higher in football than other sports, and this helps address that.”