On Friday, the NCAA’s Division I council voted in favor of recruiting legislation that will significantly impact Clemson and the recruiting landscape in college football as a whole.
As part of a comprehensive reform package to the current football-recruiting model, the council approved legislation that included the addition of an early signing period in December and changes to the summer camp model and the recruiting calendar.
The intent is to take pressure off of prospective Division I football student-athletes throughout the recruiting process while cutting down on the influence of third parties.
“Today’s adoption of the football legislation marks the most significant progress in recent years to improve the football environment and culture for current and prospective student-athletes and coaches,” council chair Jim Phillips said in a release by the NCAA.
In addition to the early signing period, the recruiting reform package will allow juniors to take official visits from April 1 to the Sunday before the last Wednesday in June of that year (effective Aug. 1); prevent FBS schools from hiring “people close to a prospective student-athlete” for a two-year period before and after the athlete’s enrollment (effective immediately); limit FBS coaches to 10 days of camps and clinics in June and July (these camps must be held on campus or in facilities often used by the football program; effective immediately); and allow employed coaches at camps and clinics to interact with prospective student-athletes (effective immediately).
The early signing date still must be approved by the Collegiate Commissioners Association, which meets in June.
Clemson is one of the many schools that are poised to benefit from the recruiting reforms.
It will enable schools like Clemson, which oftentimes in the past has had a majority of the members of its recruiting classes committed well before the February signing day, to sign those prospects in December and turn more attention and resources than it previously would have been able to, to future classes on the recruiting trail.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said in October that he was in favor of the then-proposed early signing period.
“Guys that know what they want to do will sign,” he said. “Some of the rhetoric out there is that it is going to speed up the recruiting process, but it actually is going to slow it down. It is going to slow it down big time. It is going to slow some of these early offers down because if a guy is committed, you are going to know they are committed because you are going to expect them to sign.”
The restriction on the number of camps and clinics that FBS coaches can hold is beneficial to Clemson, as well.
Each year, Clemson holds two three-day camp sessions in June. Some other schools, meanwhile, exploited previous camp regulations by conducting “satellite camps” off campus and thus conducting more than the old system intended. The new rule levels the field for all programs.
All in all, the recruiting reforms clean up the recruiting process. Clemson will feel the positive effects in the future, as will schools and prospects across the country.