First impressions, second thoughts and the third degree:
With all due respect to those who love National Signing Day, it should be eliminated as soon as possible.
It's too late to do anything about Wednesday's pending installment when recruits, coaches, schools, conferences and analysts demonstrate various preening techniques, but the whole concept should be shelved for something more comprehensive.
As I've said before, every day should be signing day in college athletics.
If a prospective student-athlete is visiting the University of Wisconsin and is offered a scholarship, they should have the ability to sign a National Letter of Intent right then and there if that's what they choose to do.
Age and sport shouldn't matter as long as the coach, recruit and guardian are all on the same page and are prepared to put their signatures on the document.
In one fell swoop, you eliminate a lot of the unsightly clutter associated with schools oversigning and recruits decommitting. Once a letter has been forwarded to the proper authorities, a paper trail is established that defines how many signees a school has and when its annual limit is reached. It also verifies who has signed and where.
The letter can be voided by the recruit if a coaching change takes place or by the school if the prospect fails to qualify academically.
This proposal won't detract from the recruiting industry — rankings, profiles, websites and catalogs — but it will clean things up a bit and give the process some dignity.
JUST WISHFUL THINKING: It wasn't all that long ago that baseball commissioner Bud Selig declared the steroid era "clearly a thing of the past."
Either Selig was being naive when he said that in 2011 or he had really bad intel because, despite some noble efforts to clean things up, we're looking at another widespread performance-enhancing drug scandal.
Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz and Gio Gonzalez make up the latest round of suspects, courtesy of a report last week in the Miami New Times. The revelations come after eight players were suspended for PED use in 2012.
It's becoming clear that Selig needs to start swinging a bigger stick when it comes to punishments. Instead of 50-game suspensions for first-time offenders, they should sit a year. Multiple violations should bring lifetime bans. That might get everyone's attention.
JUDGMENT CALLS: San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh had reason to complain about the no-call that sabotaged a potential Super Bowl-winning drive in the final minute Sunday, but he shouldn't have been surprised that no penalty flag was thrown.
This was the same officiating crew, led by referee Jerome Boger, which inexplicably failed to protect one of its own earlier in the game when Baltimore cornerback Cary Williams gave head linesman Steve Stelljes a blatant two-handed shove during a scrum.
Williams should have been ejected on the spot, no questions asked, but he didn't even draw a flag.
Of course, it was the Niners who took two of the dumbest rhetorical pregame penalties in Super Bowl history. Cornerback Chris Culliver riffed ignorantly on gay athletes, while Randy Moss declared himself the greatest wide receiver of all time when he isn't even the best in franchise history.
At least Culliver tried to apologize.
A LITTLE DOSE OF IRONY: Gary Andersen, the new UW football coach, mentioned recently he and his wife, Stacey, had bought a house in town.
The seller, according to Andersen, was Paul Chryst.