Randy Edsall wants to change the way college football recruiting is being handled because he worries the “game is getting away from us.”
Edsall, the Maryland head coach and Susquehannock grad, wants to slow down the recruiting process. He told ESPN.com that players are being offered scholarships so early — many times in eighth or ninth grade — that they make rash decisions and end up transferring.
Coaches often hand out verbal offers before a student-athlete’s true academic aptitude is attained, Edsall said.
Too often, players don’t pan out once they finally do arrive on campus, leading coaches to sometimes drive them out of the program and even the school, Edsall said.
Currently, college coaches cannot send out written scholarship offers to players until Aug. 1 of their upcoming senior year. Edsall would like to see all verbal and written offers forbidden before Sept. 1 of that year.
For example, Penn State and new head coach James Franklin leads the nation with 11 verbal commitments — four months before a written offer can be received. Edsall’s Terrapins have just one verbal pledge so far.
Edsall even approached NCAA president Mark Emmert recently about adding more permanent oversight for football.
“I said, ‘Mark, who do you have at the NCAA that’s working on football 365 [days] a year? You have nobody,’” Edsall told ESPN.com. “You can’t let the institutions try to decide this. Because every institution wants to have ‘what’s good for my institution.’ We’ve got to get out of that mentality.”
Edsall admitted that he follows along and offer scholarships to high school freshmen.
“I hate doing it, it’s not right, but this is what we have to do,” he said. “If you wait … you’re so far behind.”