Conversations with coaches can still happen via phone. So can tours of campus, just not of athletic facilities--I'd like to think other aspects of campus life matter at least a little to recruits... As for athletic facilities, am I wrong to assume that at a P5 school, they will at minimum be more than adequate? Is a cool looking weight room and new lockers really that big a deal (to a 15 year-old kid maybe, but to the parents)?
Seems like allowing players to sign binding LOIs earlier would at least alleviate some risk for athletes. You might be told 10 months after you commit that you won't ever make the roster, but you'd know you still have any scholarship $$ you were promised if you choose not to cut ties with the school and try to play elsewhere. Definitely not a perfect solution, but right now the risks and rewards in this process seem tilted pretty heavily against student athletes. Banning commitments entirely until, say, Sept 1 of junior year seems like it would invite under-the-table oral agreements--which again seems like a better deal for coaches than for recruits. Why not bring it all out in the open and say "early commitments are ok, but both sides will have to put it in an enforceable written contract"?