National Signing Day is like Christmas to college football fans, coaches and athletic directors.
For most college sports staffs, unfortunately, Wednesday might as well have been Arbor Day for the lack of timely coverage of football signings across the country.
While there’s a direct correlation between a team’s success and the quality of its recruits, according to Rivals.com, the relationship between college newspaper staffs and NSD is much more tenuous, even among student media covering traditional football powers. Sports staffs continue to wait until the next edition gets printed on paper to reveal news like this, an approach that is as antiquated as pica sticks and paste-up. There are exceptions, though, like student media at LSU, Michigan and Boise State, where staffs innovate and break news. Sadly, far too many sports staffs have failed to learn how to report in today’s media environment, where breaking news gets posted immediately – especially when readers have a voracious appetite for the content. Auburn fans, for instance, want to know who they’ve signed instantly – during a coffee break, while eating lunch or on their phones at any time.