It is no secret that COVID-19 has really shaken things up when it comes to college sports. The Trojans are living proof of that, as this weeks matchup against the Colorado Buffaloes was canceled just last night. College football games are getting canceled and rescheduled left and right, due to teams not having enough scholarship players able to start per COVID-19 regulations. But current college athletes and administrations aren't the only ones impacted by the virus.
Last week, the NCAA announced that the dead period for all Division I sports would be further extended through April 15, 2021. This means that absolutely no in person visits, communications, clinics, etc. can occur with any coach, administration, or athlete of the 2021 recruiting class.
"That group is going to go down in history as the only class to never have official visits, to never have in-home visits, and to have all communications through digital", Sports Illustrated's Director of Football Recruiting, John Garcia, Jr., told All Trojans, "Twitter DM's, Instagram DM's, FaceTime, phone calls, that was the entire communication process for this senior class, and it's really tough for them to grasp."
John Garcia, Jr. noted that although this dead period extension is hard for the 2021 recruiting class, they are used to it by now. The dead period has been in place since March 2020, and with the latest extension date being pushed to April 15, 2021, no in person recruiting activities will have taken place for over a year.
However, the repercussions of the dead period extension do not just stop at this year's recruiting class. This news now bleeds over into affecting the 2022 recruiting class' opportunities.
"The current high school juniors already lost out on that big time identification period which is the spring going into their junior year. It is usually when high school coaches start to say 'hey, I've got this upcoming junior you should check out', you know USC coaches or any other coaches who may visit the school. That was already zapped this past Spring and now this group is in danger of losing the spring going into their senior year, which for some is kind of the last call to get on radar" (Garcia, Jr.).
This is the seventh time the NCAA dead period has been extended since the pandemic began.