Nick Saban has never been one to shy away from strong opinions on college football, and his latest on the new early signing period certainly classifies as strong.
For the uninitiated, college football — a sport that’s normally pretty slow to change — finally allowed players to sign to their college of choice before the typical February signing period. Recruits have always had a chance to verbally commit, of course, but the actual signing day as always been in early February — after a national champion has been named.
CFB has changed that by having an “early signing period’ from December 20th through December 22nd. It’s like college basketball’s early signing period but much shorter, and Saban doesn’t like it.
“I didn’t like it when we did it. I don’t like it now. I don’t think it’s in the player’s best interest. I don’t see how it benefits anybody,” Saban said.
Saban talked about how the early signing period makes life harder on coaches, who should be spending time planning for bowl games or the College Football Playoffs at this juncture. It’s just one more thing coaches have to do and worry about during a traditionally busy time, and that’s not even mentioning the coaches who are coaching in conference championship games, who have even less time to recruit than others.
Here’s more from Saban, as passed on by CBSSports:
“Two things happen: I see more players getting pressured by some schools to sign early so that they don’t get an opportunity from maybe a bigger school later, which I don’t think is in the player’s best interest,” Saban said. “A guy may have an opportunity to go to a place he’s always wanted to go to or maybe a SEC school when he’s getting pressured by another place to sign early.
“Then other guys are trying to make a decision about signing early or not signing early,” he continued. “And they have all these new coaches and new coaching staffs bum rushing them to get them not to do that so they have a chance to recruit them.”
Saban went on to say that he hasn’t talked to one coach who is happy about college football’s early signing period.