Georgia head coach Kirby Smart gave his take on how an early signing period may affect recruiting in the near future.
On Friday, the NCAA's Division I Council voted in favor of allowing prospective student-athletes to sign with college programs during an early period in December. It won't officially go into effect until after the Division I Board of Directors cast a final vote on April 26.
Smart, who stated he wasn't in favor of an early signing period a year ago, sees it as a big change that will cause coaches to spend their time elsewhere in the final months of a recruiting cycle once the "truly committed" players sign in December.
"People think it’s going to cut down on cost," Smart said. "You’re not going to spend less because you do that. You’re going to go see someone else. You’re going to go see the last 10 guys to get. You’re going to go see the next 2019 or 2020 kid more. You’re going to do something with that time but you’re not going to, what we call, babysit a recruit and see him over and over. I think that’s how it will affect it. It will speed up the process on other kids because you’ll be going to see them more."
In addition, Smart reiterated his position against a rule the Division I Council approved that will prevent colleges from hiring anyone closely associated with a prospective student-athlete for a "two-year period before and after the student's anticipated and actual enrollment at the school."
Smart said this rule is a hindrance to good high school coaches who are trying to break in at the college level.
"It’s hard in the coaching profession to grow coaches and develop coaches like we do in the SEC without the ability to hire high school coaches," Smart said. "And they still argue, 'You can still hire them, you just can’t hire the ones with prospects.' Well, when you sign 25 (players) a year it’s hard not to hire one who may interact with a prospect. It does limit those guys so that’s a disappointing part of that rule."