Arizona's dismissal of Rich Rodriguez on Tuesday night brought about a new problem for college football. It's the first time since the adoption of the Early Signing Period that a coach has been fired after recruits signed their letters of intent during the early period. Now, while there's plenty of interest in what led to Rodriguez's demise in Tucson, and where Arizona goes from here to replace him, there's something else I'm far more interested in.
What happens to the 16 kids who sent in their letters of intent last month?
The Early Signing Period was implemented in part to allow recruits who already had their minds made up to officially commit to their school and put all the hassles of recruiting behind them. No more incessant text messages from coaches. No more schools trying to sell you on their program after you've already vocally committed to another program.
By signing early, they were able to go on about their lives. Things like being a teenager, and, you know, finishing up high school and getting their diplomas.
With Rodriguez's ouster, there are now 16 recruits who made their commitment to Rodriguez and Arizona who no longer have any idea who the coaches will be when they arrive on campus. Over the last year or so, they developed a relationship with a coaching staff that might be entirely different now, but they're currently locked into the situation by their letter of intent.
Arizona needs to release early signees from letters of intent after Rich Rodriguez firing
CBS Sports | Jan 4