While the on-field action of college football has returned already in many parts of the country and is getting closer to returning in others, the recruiting of high school players is still very much uncertain.
Plenty of major questions exist after the NCAA Division-I Council voted on Wednesday to extend the recruiting dead period through January 1. While phone calls and social media messages remain permitted, no in-person on campus visits, or school or home visits from coaches will be permitted throughout the remainder of the calendar year.
“While the council acknowledged and appreciates the growing desire to resume in-person recruiting by select coaches’ associations, council members ultimately concluded the primary concern right now must be protecting the current student-athletes on our campuses,” council chair and Penn athletic director M. Grace Calhoun said in a press release. “We encourage our coaches to interact with prospective student-athletes virtually in this time period.”
Division-I sports have been in a dead period for recruiting ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in late March.
This extension of in-person visits raises the question of whether college football should have an early Signing Day in December, since the vast majority of players will not be have been given the opportunity to make official visits to their prospective schools.
Currently, the two college football signing periods are scheduled to take place for the Class of 2021, the early period which is set to begin on Dec. 16 and last three days, and the full signing period, which will open on Feb. 3.