No June signing window for college football on horizon

NCAAF

College commissioners passed on taking a formal vote on the addition of a June high school signing period during Collegiate Commissioners Association meetings this week, veering away from a potentially seismic shift in the college football recruiting calendar.

Per ESPN’s Pete Thamel, commissioners voted down the introduction of a June signing window in a straw vote Wednesday and essentially confirmed that decision by not taking a formal vote during meetings Thursday.

In the 2025 cycle, the early signing period will open on Dec. 4, 2024, followed by the traditional signing period starting on Feb. 5, 2025.

Buzz around a June signing window for high school recruits has persisted across the country in recent years as the transfer portal and now the expanded 12-team College Football Playoff have converged on the early signing period, the window in which college football programs have formally signed the bulk of their recruiting classes since its introduction in 2017.

Initial change came for the recruiting calendar during commissioner’s meetings earlier this year.

In March, the association voted to move the early signing period from the third Wednesday in December to the Wednesday prior to the slate of FBS conference championship games in the first week of the month. During those same meetings, the commissioners discussed but ultimately tabled the possibility of adding a June recruiting window until this week’s meetings. Had the commissioners chosen to adopt the policy this week, the June signing window would have debuted in June 2025 with the class of 2026.

The introduction of a June signing window has bubbled in the broader discussion around the recruiting calendar and its place in the ever-evolving of modern college football.

Proponents of the June signing window pointed to potential benefits for both high school prospects and the college football programs recruiting them. For instance, a June signing period would have handed high school recruits the opportunity to sign their national letters of intent unencumbered by the wave of transfer portal entries in the weeks following the college football regular season and the ability to snuff out the so-called “uncommittable offers” programs often extend far out from official signing windows.

For college programs, which spend the spring hosting hundreds of recruits on campus, the June window would have provided coaches a chance to lock in the bulk of an upcoming signing class by early summer, a payoff for coaching and recruiting staffs across the country following the wave of camps and recruiting visits. Additionally, a June window could have allowed coaches to approach the football season unburdened by the pressure of scouting, recruiting and closing out the next signing class over the course of the fall.

Per Thamel, high school coaches in states including Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee were among the most outspoken detractors of adding a June signing window.

Critics of the June signing period have often pointed to the trickiness of allowing prospects to sign letters of intent prior to the inevitable coaching carousel that unfolds each fall. Other aspersions cast have included the value college scouting departments still place on the senior season evaluation window for high school recruits, questions over whether prospects would even utilize the June signing window and the prickly possibility of high school players sitting out their senior seasons after signing a letter of intent during the summer.

The addition of a June signing window is tabled for now. However, discussions around fundamental changes to the recruiting calendar — and opinions on the matter from coaches, administrators and commissioners — are sure to continue as college football searches for relief in the month of December, increasingly becoming the sport’s busiest month.

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