The Division I Council recently approved a proposal put forth by the Football Oversight Committee to increase the number of official visitors permitted from 56 to 70. Although this change is currently set for a trial one-year period commencing on April 1, 2023, it is likely to be extended.
Alongside the increase in visitor numbers, the Council has also removed the limit on the number of official college visits a recruit can undertake. Although a recruit may now visit multiple colleges, there is still a limit of one visit per specific school unless a change in head coaching staff occurs.
The Council also extended a waiver removing the initial counter limit for Division I football programs. Now, programs will have until the end of the 2024-25 athletic year to take advantage of this waiver. This means that schools can sign as many players as they wish, as long as the total number of scholarships issued does not exceed the cap of 85 for FBS schools and 63 for FCS schools.
This lifting of the signing limit was initially enacted in May of the prior year for a two-year period, in response to the churning norms of the recruitment landscape. The decision to extend the trial for another year underscores the Council’s intent to experiment with this new flexible limit and assess its impact on colleges, teams, and recruits.
The move marks a significant change from the early part of the decade when the 25-man counter limit was introduced to curb oversigning practices. With the advent of new rules such as the one-time waiver exception and the creation of a transfer portal, schools found themselves with more scholarship openings than they were legally permitted to fill.
These changes have been instituted to address both fairness to players and player safety issues. The Oversight Committee and Council will closely monitor the developments to optimally use this regulatory freedom.