Coaches endorse early signing period

SEC coaches approved a rule proposal for a one-day early signing period, Ron Higgins of The Commercial Appeal reported.

The proposal was approved 9-3, the reverse of last year’s vote.

Voting for the proposal were Rich Brooks, Sly Croom, Phil Fulmer, Bobby Johnson, Les Miles, Houston Nutt, Mark Richt, Nick Saban and Tommy Tuberville. Voting against the proposal were Urban Meyer, Bobby Petrino, and Steve Spurrier.

Recruits who haven’t taken an official visit to a school, yet who have committed to that school, would be eligible to sign national letters-of-intent on the Monday before Dec. 1.

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Recruits who have taken unofficial visits would be eligible to sign early. It is a tightly worded proposal, and it must be approved by the SEC presidents, and eventually the NCAA before it would take effect. SEC presidents are expected to approve it.

Nick Saban has spoken in favor of the early signing period. He told reporters on Tuesday an early signing period would help coaches because they would have to spend less time on players already committed to the program.

Saban told ESPN’s Chris Low that he considers the rule proposal a benefit for Alabama.

“The rules are all the same for everybody. So whether it’s an advantage to Georgia because they’ve got a lot of players in state, or Florida, because they have a lot of players in state & I’d just as soon they get them out of the way so we can go get the other guys. I see it as an advantage for us, too. Everybody knows I’m crazy, thinks I’m crazy. So what I think doesn’t really matter.”

Petrino voted against the proposal citing Arkansas’ limited recruiting base. He said he needed the extra time to work out-of-state recruits. Meyer voted against the rule change because he felt it was unfair to the students who would be pressured to make an early decision. Spurrier voted against the proposal because he’s getting old and doesn’t like change.

That wasn’t Spurrier’s real reason. Spurrier opposed recruiting changes because it could disrupt the sanctity of the regular season.