For some, February 4th is a holy day.
Look around and you may find a group of buttoned-up professionals playing hooky to gather around a TV or mobile live stream at your local watering hole.
They’re collective holding their breath as news of newly signed NCAA athletes filters out, name after name.
If you haven’t guessed it, February 4th is the NCAA’s National Football Signing Day.
Yup: It’s a pretty big deal.
But even though 2014 welcomed more than 42,000 student athlete signings, most of these students locked their deals via rusty and unreliable technology (hint: fax machines).
I bet your bottom dollar that the grand majority of coaches, athletes, parents, (and anyone really) don’t appreciate the throwback to the olden days approach when finalizing the start of epic collegiate football careers.
Who wrote the golden rule that all contracts are official when physically signed and faxed? Fact: No one.
Fact: you’re free to digitize and streamline the whole nine-yard process through digital means (check out how Digital Transaction Management throws a Hail Mary for making signing documents super easy, iron secure and reliably track-able).
#FaxOutOfFootball – Now Please!
In a 247sports.com article – A Paperless National Signing Day – columnist Steve Helwagen quoted Eugene Byrd stating the hard truth:
“These schools spend millions of dollars and have the most advanced set-ups to recruit these kids,” He said. “Yet when it comes to the most important part – where they sign the documents – they still use antiquated ways.”
Byrd has substantial insight into the drama that paper causes during National Signing Day after spending two decades overseeing the National Letter of Intent program and as an assistant commissioner for the SEC.
Playing Devil’s Advocate for millisecond: it’s true that National Signing Day is a juicy media event. Plenty of dramas as the faxes fly in and out, but while that makes for stellar television, you got to remember that an athlete’s career rests on successfully ferrying the signed document to the right person.
No whoops, the fax smudged your John Hancock or darn it, an admin dropped the piece of paper.
Prospective college students want to see the below image in the locker room drawing board. Coordinating and orchestrating signatures shouldn’t look like this:
It should really just be click, sign, send. Received. Done. Signed.
The college-bound student athlete would certainly agree.
Electronic signatures in the NCAA are booming onto people’s stakeholders because it takes the focus away from orchestrating a piece of paper. The athletes and coaches and families deserve that attention, not a fax machine.
So this National Signing Day, make if official electronically. In literally within a blink of an eye, athletes are on the their way to #Superbowl dreams.
To learn more about kicking #FaxOutOfFootball, click here.