The NCAA has approved of the addition of a 10th assistant coach to FBS teams, starting in 2018.

Share story

For college football fans, a new holiday is coming between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The NCAA has approved an overhaul of college football recruiting that will allow high school athletes to sign with colleges as early as December, effectively adding a second major signing day to the traditional February date.

The other significant change to the recruiting calendar would allow recruits to make official visits to college campuses — paid for by the schools — between April and June of their junior year in high school. The early visits are intended to work in tandem with the new early signing period.

NCAA’s Division I Council also voted on Friday to allow FBS coaches to host recruits for summer camps on their college campus, a new rule designed to end the practice of “satellite camps,” in which college coaches conducted camps at various locations away from campus.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

The Collegiate Commissioners Associated is expected to approve the recruiting reforms at its June meeting.

Another rules change puts a two-year waiting period on FBS teams from hiring people “close” to a recruit in a support role. That mirrors a rule that has already been in place for college basketball. (People “close” to a recruit can still be hired as a full-time coach, as was the case with Washington’s hiring of Michael Porter Sr. as a men’s basketball assistant last year.)

Football Oversight Committee chair Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, called the passage of the recruiting package “a significant move forward for football recruiting.”

In addition, the NCAA has approved of the addition of a 10th assistant coach to FBS teams, starting in 2018, and eliminated two-a-day practices, effective immediately.

Washington State has eliminated two-a-day workouts during Mike Leach’s tenure, and Washington has largely done away with them on Chris Petersen’s watch.

“The Council’s action reinforces our commitment to the health and safety of our student-athletes,” Council chair Jim Phillips, the Northwestern athletic director, said in a news release. “We continue to be guided by the recommendations from medical professionals, coaches and administrators and the strong support for discontinuing two contact practices in the same day.”

The NCAA Board of Governors is expected to approve the changes at its April 26 meeting.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.