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Big 12 Commissioner Says NCAA May Remove Early Signing Period

In the ever-changing landscape of college sports, a potentially massive domino is being discussed at the highest level that would drastically impact the lifeblood of any athletic program: recruiting.

Speaking Wednesday at the Sports Business Journal Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the college football oversight committee was debating whether or not to eliminate the December early signing period, per SI's Ross Dellenger. Also on the table was moving the early signing period back to January.

The late-December signing period was instituted in 2017, and has had a massive effect on the sport at large. This year's uptick in midseason firings can be tied directly to the early signing period, as schools feel a heightened sense of urgency to have a new head coach in place in time to salvage a recruiting class.

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Roughly 80% of FBS prospects sign during the early period, while the rest do so in early February.

Talk of eliminating or pushing back the early signing period are still preliminary, per Dellenger, and debate will be ongoing between the football oversight committee and the recruiting subcommittee. No formal proposals have been submitted, with discussions expected to continue into January.

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