High school coaches would welcome change

By Mike Baldwin Published: July 6, 2008
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Carl Albert running back David Oku is one of the top recruits in the nation. Because college coaches are prohibited from talking with Oku, coach Gary Rose has been inundated with phone calls and visits.

That's why Rose and most high school coaches would welcome an early signing day.

"The quicker they can get it done and get it out of they way the better because it's a mess,” Rose said. "It's kind of nice at first but it gets really old. When college coaches could be on the road for a month I had two or three (coaches) at my school almost every day.”

Colleges can first offer a scholarship the first day of a high school athlete's junior year. Football players can make a verbal commitment but must wait 18 months to sign a national letter of intent.

"For kids who are sure where they want to go, it would take a lot of pressure off the kids and college coaches,” said Putnam North coach Bob Wilson. "We really haven't had problems with it but sometimes it can be a distraction.”

Former Mesquite coach Steve Halpin was president of the Texas High School Coaches Association last year. His concern is an early signing date, especially August, would move up the process.

"There's already pressure to commit so early that it's way out of whack,” Halpin said. What date do the coaches want?

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