For the Record
Keith_ted
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National Signing Day
National Signing Day is a tradition that needs to go away.
J. Pat Carter/AP

Enough.

Enough with the press conferences and the faux drama.

Enough with the round-the-clock coverage and the breathless predictions that too often go nowhere.

Enough, most of all, with the hats.

Enough with Signing Day.

It's hard to see what good making a spectacle of a bunch of letters being faxed to athletic department offices has done for the sport of college football, its participants or its coaches.

Players are now encouraged to think that they actually deserve all this attention and, in some cases, that going back on your word is simply the cost of doing business. How's that go over when trying to build chemistry and respect between players and coaches and between teammates once practices begin?

Coaches are now encouraged to continue recruiting players even after they verbally commit to other schools. How does that build credibility and trustworthiness that should be the building blocks of any successful recruiting pitch?

More and more schools are coming off as willing and desperate participants in the increasingly shady endeavor of recruiting. How does that help their continuing struggle to brand themselves as academic institutions of principle, and their players as student-athletes?

Fans now have more reason than ever to care about and be involved in the recruiting process, whether from the anonymous safety of a message board or the sketchy confines of a booster club. How does that do anything but heighten expectations to an unrealistic level for teams and players that will, in most cases, fall drastically short, leading to hurt feelings, job losses and program upheaval?

But Signing Day is here to stay, and if that's the case then so be it. (Just get rid of the charade with the hats: It's unconvincing drama at best and disrespectful at worst). In the meantime, those of us who care a bit more about what a player does once he puts a helmet on in autumn than when he puts a baseball hat on in February will continue to mostly ignore it for the shameful, overhyped spectacle it is.

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