It’s time for colleges around the nation to dust off the fax machine with National Signing Day set for Wednesday.
The University of Florida again plans to take it one step further — combining old technology with new technology.
The fax machine is ready to come out of sleep mode, and @GatorsFax, the Twitter feed that announces when National Letters of Intent have arrived, is back for a second year.
As the Twitter bio says, “I know I’m outdated but trying my hardest to fit in.
#NationalSigningDay‘s my only day to shine!”
Outdated? Sure, but not extinct. Bet on a lot of photos of coaches and football operations staffers standing around a fax media on social media feeds.
RELATED: Signing Day hub
Perhaps the odd relationship between the fax machine and signing day was best expressed last year when Tom Herman and members of his coaching staff at Houston posted a video of them obliterating the machine in a spoof of the cult classic “Office Space.”
Schools have been trending more toward an electronic means to receive signed National Letters of Intent over the last few years. The wording on the document says, “This NLI may be delivered by express mail, courier service, regular mail, email or facsimile. An NLI submitted to an institution electronically is permissible.”
The rules says a school can email the letter of intent to a recruit, but many use a PDF form. That means the documents need to be printed out, signed, scanned and then emailed or faxed to the college.
Electronic signatures are also allowed. UCLA was among the first programs to go that route in 2014. Recruits receive an email with a link, sign the marked areas on their device and send it back to the school, according to SignNow by Barracuda.
Notre Dame joined the movement last year, prompting coach Brian Kelly to say, “We’re proud to announce that we did not use the fax machine today. We’ve entered the 21st century here at Notre Dame.”
Barracuda says Boston College, Arizona State, Oregon State and Massachusetts are among the new programs for this year.
A number of schools also will be using DocuSign, which has used the hashtag #FaxOutofFootball the last two years on signing day. “We anticipate a spike in signings this Wednesday as incoming college athletes select their college and team,” a spokesman said.
The possibility of a paperless Signing Day can’t be far behind and has been talked about for the last few years.
Even if that means the end of @GatorsFax, which credited BoyzIIMen for it’s sign-off, “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.”