A lot of people involved with college football were big supporters of the sport instituting an early signing period for high school seniors. So, when the NCAA’s Division I Council approved the motion to allow those student-athletes an earlier signing period, it was seen as a victory for the sport.
For the most part, everyone has been on board with the Council’s decision. But the idea did have some naysayers. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith was one of those voices.
At the B1G Joint Group Meetings on Monday, Smith explained his stance on the early signing period and why he opposes the idea. Here’s what the Buckeyes’ AD had to say, according to Yahoo! Sports:
We really feel that young kids today are pressured into making a lot of decisions early, and we’re part of that. I really watched our culture change so much, and I’ve seen it in basketball and now it’s reversing in basketball but I really like the timeframe for a young person to make their decision, to be firm in it. We’ve had kids, and we all use the term ‘flipping,’ in February and January, and so I’m a little old school on that, so I always felt that was the appropriate time — season’s over, you might be playing basketball, whatever, get your time to make your visits and go.
But the data shows that there’s a lot of kids who made early decisions and they stayed true to those. That was my opinion on it but the larger majority rules the day and we move on.
Smith also believes that because some students will be pressured to make their decision before they are actually ready and, as a result, will start to see more college football players transfer schools.
The point is well-taken, but the overwhelming majority believes the early signing period would only be a benefit for the sport and its athletes. And Smith doesn’t seem too bitter about the Council’s decision.
Obviously we were not supportive of that legislation at Ohio State, but since it’s passed, we’ll embrace it and deal with it.