LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska coach Mike Riley on Tuesday added his name to the growing list of Big Ten coaches sounding off on the NCAA’s proposal last week to add an early signing period in June during the recruiting cycle.
The current signing period is in February. The rule would make it so there would be one in June, and one in December.
Speaking during Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference, Riley said he probably isn’t for it, but thinks it will happen, anyway.
“Well I think that it is a move to kind of match the rules with what’s going on in reality,” Riley said.
Riley did highlight a benefit of the proposal, saying that had the signing period been in place this summer, Nebraska would have signed 12 recruits. It would also allow teams to lessen the number of visits during the season, which would make it easier for recruits to visit in the spring when they aren’t in the middle of the high school football season, Riley said.
“So I think there’s some positives to that,” Riley said. “This early signing date through the years has become inevitable in some fashion. I think in general if I had to vote I don’t think I’d change it but I think it’s going to happen.”
For Nebraska specifically, the early signing period could be an advantage considering a good portion of Nebraska’s recruits come from out of state, particularly the West Coast, so getting them to come earlier and when it is more convenient for recruits would be big, Riley said.
“One of the key factors is getting guys to Lincoln so if we’re going to have that early singing date let’s change that, get official visits earlier,” Riley said. “We have a lot of visitors come in the spring anyway, so getting them here and sign them when they get here. I think that fits with what’s going on anyway.”
Both Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz gave support to the addition of an early signing period. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has said he is against it.