Paul Johnson Wanting To Abolish Signing Day Is Good Idea

By Brad Stephens
Daniel Shirey - USA TODAY Sports
Daniel Shirey – USA TODAY Sports

The very idea of abandoning Signing Day would make many recruiting gurus gasp in horror. If Paul Johnson had his way, Signing Day would go the way of the dodo bird tomorrow. Concurring with the statements made by Bo Pelini last week, Johnson wants players to be able to sign on the day of commitment, whenever that may be.

I would not call the idea controversial whatsoever. Johnson essentially believes that any player who is not willing to sign on the dotted line on the day of commitment, is no commitment at all. In Johnson’s view, that makes it more of a reservation, and this stance is what keeps coaching staffs awake at night and spending countless dollars and hours courting guys who are supposedly committed to them. One can see how this process becomes tiring and leaves a bad taste when a player stonewalls them in February.

On the other hand, certain schools have been known to take early commitments and then the coaches back out when something better comes along. Schools shoot out offers like a Gatling gun and some kids jump on the bandwagon early, only to be left behind at the 11th hour. This limits the opportunities of the player and it is patently unfair to play with the future of an 18-year-old kid.  The abolition of Signing Day and the ability to sign on the dotted line at any time would eliminate this cat-and-mouse game with “soft” commits and careless offers.

Signing Day is like a national holiday in the South, and many people would be sad to see it go. Bosses across the nation understand that many male employees will be hitting F5 on their keyboards all day and work productivity is all but forgotten. It is exciting to see the letters of intent trickle in and the list of signed players grow as the day progresses. This feeling carries fans through the dreaded month of February, when nothing football-related happens unless it is an arrest or a coach moving on.

However, if this idea is proven to help the team lock up better recruits and win more games, people would forget Signing Day quicker than a Southern sunshine melts away the early morning dew.

Brad Stephens is an SEC Football writer for Feel free to follow on Twitter @bradstephens320 or add him to your Google network. 

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