Stanford's David Shaw blasts possible early signing period

By Jerry Hinnen | Staff Writer

David Shaw is no fan of a possible early signing period. (USATSI)
David Shaw is no fan of a possible early signing period. (USATSI)
NCAA official Susan Peal said Friday that "I think everyone wants an early signing period" for college football.

It's safe to say after Saturday, however, that "everyone" does not include Stanford coach David Shaw.

"I might be alone in this, I think it's terrible," Shaw told ESPN reporter Kyle Bonagura. "I think it's terrible. The reason [for the discussion], in my opinion, is coaches don't like when kids commit and switch late."

Peal said that adding an early signing period for college football -- already a staple of the NCAA college basketball calendar -- would be on the agenda for discussion at the June summit of 32 Division I conference commissioners.

"The landscape is changing," she told ESPN, "so it's time to look at it again."

Shaw disagrees, to put it politely.

"What's going to happen is, if a kid wants to change his mind late after the early signing period, he's going to appeal and that appeal is going to go through because the committees that decide those appeals, they always give in towards the student-athlete," Shaw said. "People can make whatever argument they want, it boils down to ... coaches don't want to keep recruiting an entire class all year."

Shaw said the early signing period would be particularly difficult for academically demanding schools -- like, say, Stanford -- who are often unable to guarantee a recruit his admission to school until after the fall semester of his senior high school year. Shaw added three players to his 2014 class in January or February who had been previously committed to other schools.

Of course, even if Shaw might have offered the most vocal opinion on the topic so far, it's fair to expect (especially in the wake of the "10-second-rule" furor) that many coaches will have something just as committed to say -- either in opposition or agreement. Given the long process between now and the signing period actually going into effect, expect Shaw to be far from the last high-profile FBS coach to respond with intense opposition ... or vehement support.

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