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CCA tables early signing period for college football

If there's a trial period for prospects to ink early, it won't happen until next year.

Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Just when it looked like there might be enough impetus behind an early signing period in college football for the major change to come into effect, the College Commissioners Association opted to table the decision until 2016.

So the sport remains only one of three without an early period for recruits to sign their National Letters of Intent and will not allow prospects a three-day December window that would coincide with the signing period for junior college players.

Many major conferences were in favor of the proposal, including the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, MAC, Mountain West, Pac-12 and Sun Belt.

Here's one reason it would benefit schools:

An early signing window would give schools a more concrete view of which recruits are committed and which are wavering. Schools would be able to reset recruiting boards seven weeks before the traditional Signing Day and concentrate on unfilled positions, rather than continue to juggle multiple prospects who'd fill the same role.

It would also allow schools to stop recruiting signed prospects instead of focusing so much attention on those players, many of whom continue to receive pitches from other coaching staffs regardless of their commitment status.

However, it could also hurt recruits who genuinely need more time to make a decision, as many prefer not to take official visits during the fall to avoid disrupting their high school football schedule. With more pressure to make an early decision, some prospects could lose out on available scholarships if another recruit is ready to sign in December instead of February.

But after the decision by the CAA, the debate about the pros and the cons will merely resume again next year.