Huge recruiting legislation could be approved by NCAA this week
A new National Signing Day and a 10th full-time assistant coach are on the docket this week for the Division 1 Council.

by Chris Hummer - Apr 11, 11:13 AM

The most important college football story of the offseason will play out Thursday and Friday in Indianapolis, and it has nothing to do with spring football.

A proposal to alter the recruiting calendar and to add a 10th full-time assistant coach, among other things, will be heard by the Division 1 Council. If the Division 1 Council approves, the NCAA Board of Directors can finalize the rule alterations two weeks later. If these changes are indeed enacted, the way programs recruit – both with their assistant coaches and how they push for prospects – will change.

A Change in the Recruiting Calendar

The Division 1 council will hear a proposal – endorsed by the American Football Coaches Association – that would add a second National Signing Day on the third Wednesday of December. Currently, that day is reserved for junior college prospects.

This change would allow high school athletes to sign their National Letter of Intent in December or during the current National Signing Day date of the first Wednesday of February.

There was even initial talk about an earlier signing day in June, but that was later scrubbed.

The effect of this change would be twofold.

First, it would allow high school athletes to eliminate the pressure of the recruiting process two months earlier. No more calls from coaches, no more visits. They’d sign and be done. Players that are certain can go ahead and sign, and the stress that comes with recruiting is finished.

Second, coaches can get a much better idea of how their class is shaping up if players are already off the board. They wouldn’t have to keep an eye on prospects that are ready to sign, and their targets would officially reset with some players already having signed elsewhere. This would allow their time to be more purposely allotted, and would take some of the stress away that comes with the final month of the recruiting calendar.

Also a part of the wide-ranging football legislation is the opening of the official visit window, which proposes that prospects can take their official visits from early April to June in addition to the time allotted in the fall and winter.

A 10th Assistant Coach to Recruit/Manage

Part of the proposal, which received unanimous support from the AFCA, is to add a 10th full-time assistant coach. It’s not a surprise coaches support the addition of more coaches, and the impact of this potential staff change would mostly be felt in two ways: on the field and in recruiting.

In terms of on-field coaching, FBS programs aren't exactly short on manpower. Nine full-time assistants, four GAs and the head coach himself are allowed to directly interact with players on the practice field – that’s not even counting analysts, interns and video people that are out there watching. But the addition of a 10th full-time assistant means head coaches never need to prioritize a position over another again.

Assuming the head coach doesn’t coach a position, the nine full-time assistants must be allotted to the main position groups (QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB). With the ever-evolving schemes in football, some are assigned to sub-groups of linebackers, wide receivers, ect. . Throw in special teams, and it’s easy for one group to potentially get overlooked.

Adding a 10th full-time assistant would eliminate that.

But the biggest impact will likely be felt in recruiting. Crootin’ is now a full-time job for a coaching staff, and with only 10 coaches allowed on the road at one time (usually the nine assistants and the head coach), that time is severely limited.

Add a 10th full-time assistant to that mix, potentially a recruiting point man, and the recruiting burden for a coaching staff would be significantly lessened.

It should be noted the current language for this proposal would allow programs to add the 10th full-time assistant immediately. However, the The Football Oversight Committee put forth an amendment in February to move the effective date of the 10th assistant to Jan. 9, 2018.