Nebraska athletic director joins faction calling for early signing period

Friday, August 17, 2007

OMAHA, Neb. -- Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson has joined those calling for an early signing period for national letters of intent in college football.

Many coaches, noting recent trends in recruiting, have said there should be an early signing period for recruits who choose their schools months in advance of the traditional February signing day.

According to one recruiting Web site,, 61 members of the 2004 recruiting class made their verbal commitments to schools from BCS conferences by June 1, 2003.

By June 1, 2007, 323 prospective members of the 2008 recruiting class had made their decisions, said.

Under current rules, coaches are forced to keep tabs on players who make early verbal commitments to make sure the players don't change their minds, Pederson said Thursday. That time could be better spent trying to recruit undecided prospects, he said.

Pederson said during a conference call Thursday with reporters that if a long-committed player changes his mind the day before the February signing day, it creates a missed opportunity for another player to have that scholarship.

Pederson, chairman of the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee, said he had no opinion on whether an early signing day should be in the summer, early fall or in December.

-- AP

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