Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Colleges

Coming soon, two periods of signing craziness; Devin Robinson leaving Gators early for NBA draft

College football recruiting is on the verge of getting a whole new look before the end of the year.

The NCAA's Division I Council approved a sweeping package Friday that would allow players to sign with schools as early as December, allow high school juniors to take official visits from April through June, and impose a two-year waiting period before Division I-A schools can hire people close to recruits to non­coaching positions.

If the package is approved by the board of governors April 26, the signing period change takes effect Aug. 1. The Collegiate Commissioners Association also would have to approve the dates, a move expected to happen in June. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he expects broad support. "There were disagreements, there were compromises, but … I think we've come up with the most comprehensive and impactful package we've had in football in 25 or 30 years," he said.

There had been talk of having two early signing periods — June and December — but the coaches balked at the summer proposal.

The council comprises the 10 I-A conferences, with the Power Five leagues (ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, Big 12) getting two votes apiece and the Group of Five (American Athletic, C-USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt) getting one each.

The council also approved a proposal to cap contact practices to once daily — no more "two-a-days" with hitting.

Another significant proposed change: I-A programs can add one paid assistant coach after the end of next season, bringing the number allowed to 10. Many think the added assistant will be used primarily for recruiting.

Gator opts for draft: Florida's Devin Robinson said he will forgo his senior year and enter the NBA draft. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 11.1 points and 6.1 rebounds last season.

'BAMA TROUBLES: Alabama safety Deionte Thompson was arrested in connection with a felony aggravated assault case during spring break in Texas. The Galveston County Sheriff's Office said an 18-year-old man was knocked unconscious, sustaining several broken bones in his face and a concussion during the March 18 incident at Crystal Beach. In other news, the NCAA imposed a two-year show-cause penalty against former Alabama assistant Bo Davis for recruiting violations but didn't impose further penalties against the university. Davis knowingly violated rules in a meeting with four prospects arranged by a booster and "acted unethically" in providing false information about the matter, the NCAA said. Alabama fired Davis in April 2016.

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