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College football's early signing period moves up 3 weeks to before conference championship games

College football's early signing period will move up three weeks from mid-December to the week preceding conference championship games, starting in 2024.

The Collegiate Commissioners Association, which oversees and administers the National Letter of Intent program that schools and recruits use to make verbal commitments official and binding, announced the change Friday.

The start of the traditional signing period will remain on the first Wednesday of February and continue to run through April 1. The three-day early signing period will now start the Wednesday after Thanksgiving weekend, when the major college football regular season ends.

The CCA, which is comprised of the commissioners of all 32 Division I conferences, also said it is still considering a proposal to add a third signing period for college football in June, starting in 2025. A decision will be made by this June, the CCA's new release said.

The December signing period for football was added in 2017 and quickly became the primary signing period for high school recruits going on to play major college football. Typically, about 80% of available scholarships are accounted for during the December period.

When NCAA transfer rules were loosened in 2021 to allow college football players to more easily switch schools without having to sit out a season, it required the creation of transfer windows after the regular season and led to an overcrowded December recruiting calendar.

The new early signing period would end before the transfer window opens.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football