I think I have to agree with Pat Forde here:
“Way back when, on Dec. 18, 2019, Joe Moorhead conducted video conference calls with all 22 Mississippi State football signees. Right next to him was the Egg Bowl trophy, spoils of victory in the annual rivalry game with Mississippi. Winning that game helped the embattled Moorhead keep his job, which in turn allowed State to keep a national top-25 recruiting class intact.
Sixteen days, one fight, one upset bowl loss and one abrupt administrative about-face later, the school dragged Moorhead’s yankee ass out of Starkville. And if Mississippi State has a shred of conscience, it will offer all those new recruits a release from their signed National Letters of Intent.”
The early signing period in December creates a whole lot of craziness. Coaches preparing for Bowl games, even playoff games, while also finalizing the recruiting class for the next year, coaches getting replaced literally days before the early signing day, and in this case, a coach getting fired right after the school gets all the signatures on the letters of intent.
It’s not a good look to make this change now, and still hold those kids to the letter of intent. They are not walking in to the same situation they signed up for. They shouldn’t be forced to do it anyway without having a chance to reconsider.
And yes, the same should go if a coach leaves for another job in January or February.
Truth is, the early signing period is making this more likely, the February signing period was better for this, but of course, then players couldn’t enroll early in January and get on campus for offseason conditioning, so here we are. If that’s what you want from moving it forward, you accept that these situations are going to keep coming up. Are schools, and the NCAA, willing to take the PR hit from not doing the right thing by their early signees?
It’s not stopped them from doing the wrong thing before. I don’t feel positive that MSU, or anyone else, will do the right thing now.
But they should.