Monday, June 09, 2008

JoePa says no to early signing period

Count Joe Paterno as a naysayer when it comes to an early signing period in college football. Recently, SEC coaches voted 9-3 to ask league officials for an early signing period in late November similar to the one in college basketball. The idea springs from the supposed uptick in kids breaking their non-binding verbal commitments and signing a binding letter of intent with another school. Some kids verbally commit so early in the process that coaches still have to keep after them to make sure they aren't changing their minds. Paterno seems to think that kids should be able to change their minds.

A recruit who commits verbally "can go through a season, and some things happen ... coaches leave, different things may influence his decision and it gives him a second chance to rethink it," Paterno said. "I think he feels more comfortable he's made the right decision the way we have it now."
When talking to recruits, Paterno said "I don't want to turn into a used car salesman. ... We're dealing with a young man's life, and we'd like to be able to present the situation as best we can, and as honestly as we can."

That's really at the heart of the matter, kids get treated like gods by coaches during the recruiting process and they really only have contact a handful of times. As time goes by and recruits get more immersed in the school and coaching staff they've committed to, they may change their minds. Sometimes first impressions can be deceiving and to ask a recruit to sign a binding letter of intent 9 months before they get to step on the practice field is a bit much.

Oh, and there was this little rib-tickler added onto the end of the article when asked about his health after his bout with dehydration:

Paterno said he's been gulping down energy drinks lately "until it comes out of my ears," in part due to his wife's insistence.

"I've been a good boy, all right," he said with a chuckle. "I've done what the doctors have told me."

Yeah right Joe, you do what SuePa tells you, we know who runs the show.

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