National Signing Day is the most noteworthy among college football fans. It's bigger than bowl games, a celebration of hope. For the media, it's a perfectly-created monster where ratings skyrocket and inorganic drama is forced upon us as high schoolers pull out caps, tease their audience -- as if nobody has done it before -- and even upset their mothers.
Nebraska Cornhuskers coach Po Pelili made headlines by saying he wanted the NCAA to do away with National Signing Day. Arizona Wildcats Rich Rodriguez apparently isn't far behind him.
Here's what RichRod said on SiriusXM radio, as transcribed by CoachingSearch.com's Chris Vannini:
"I've been thinking about that ever since I read Bo's comments," he told SiriusXM College Sports Network. "I'm thinking, boy, that's really way out there, and then after I started thinking about it, I thought, you know what? That makes a whole lot more sense than anything I've heard of. You say, ‘What happens if you offer freshmen or sophomores?' That's on both sides, whether it's the school offering or the kid and his family deciding to take it. I've got to look at all the scenarios and ramifications, but when you think, what's different than a kid talented in music or arts and he signs a recording contract, or he's an actor and he signs a contract with an agency when he's a 15-year-old kid?
"It's whenever he gets offered and whenever he chooses to sign. If you think about it, it probably makes a whole lot more sense than anything else we're doing. You could make a rule where maybe you can't offer until he's completed his junior year or sophomore year. The more I think about it, the more it makes a lot more sense than some of this other stuff we're doing."
Again, there are ramifications. If the practice were changed suddenly, there would certainly be problems as young recruits are quick to make decisions and fast to rescind them.
The idea is that schools would think twice about offering scholarships. Arizona certainly learned a lesson by parting ways with cornerback commit Najiel Hale, the son of former rap artist Nate Dogg. Feeling the pressure to recruit a talented player, Rodriguez offered Hale, who accepted. But as National Signing Day neared, it became clear the Wildcats' staff wasn't all that impressed with Hale's visiting of other schools, among other things.
It's a two-way street. Arizona felt like it had to offer a talented recruit. Hale felt like the rules in place allowed him to visit Washington despite being committed.
The culture of college football makes it nobody's fault in particular, but such odd decision-making on both sides were a product of the system.
Is it a cultural issue outside of football? Will high schoolers commit when they're truly ready, or will they get stuck in a proposed system where it's hard to break free if they feel they've made a mistake?
The discussion also goes into the talk of making wholesale changes to the practice of transferring in the NCAA, which has become more of an issue in college basketball but still relates in many ways.
Everyone would be forced to do their homework a little more if Rodriguez and Pelini got their way. That's not the worst thing in the world.