“It doesn’t work” - Bronco Mendenhall says the NCAA calendar needs to be revised

UVA football head coach Bronco Mendenhall
UVA football head coach Bronco Mendenhall(WVIR)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 7:46 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2021 at 8:01 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - National Signing Day is traditionally the first Wednesday in February, but in 2017, the NCAA added an Early Signing Period.

The three days in December allow high school football players a chance to get their signings done early, but not everyone is a fan.

“It doesn’t work,” says UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “The calendar needs to be revised.”

There are too many variables, in too small of a window, to properly manage rosters, according to the coach.

“The bowl season, how that works,” says Mendenhall. “Coaching changes, how that works. The transfer portal, how that’s working. The timing with a signing date in mid-December, none of that is aligning to allow the appropriate responses, the most educated decisions, or the roster management that needs to happen at the best level that it could.”

Incoming UVA head coach Tony Elliott adds, “There are some guys right now making decisions on whether they’re going to stay, or whether they’re going to transfer out. Definitely have to make sure we protect the program by having the right number of scholarship players at each position. To have the appropriate depth, to be able to go out and prepare for the season.”

Players could transfer to another program, or leave for the NFL, but college coaches have to hand out scholarships before they know how many spots they’ll have available.

Mendenhall says, “The calendar in my opinion, needs a complete redesign, as well as the portal timing, as well as the chance for players to decide, when to decide, for coaches to know that so the rosters can be balanced before the first opportunity to sign, and all that is happening at the same time, right now. It’s going to lead to more mistakes, and more portal entries, and it doesn’t need to be that way, if we just look harder at the timing.”

The NFL has a month and a half between the start of free agency, and the entry draft, by comparison.

Virginia is scheduled to take on SMU in the Fenway Bowl in Boston on December 30th.

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