Student-athletes of the Class of 2019, February 6th is almost here. Soon, verbal commitments will be solidified once that student-athlete signs their National Letter of Intent. Here are a few tips to break down the ins- and-outs of the coveted National Letter of Intent.
Did you know that over 45,000 prospective student-athletes will sign NLIs to attend NCAA Division I or II institutions? Additionally, thousands of Division III and NAIA student-athletes will make good on commitments in signing ceremonies, even if not formally recognized. Did you also know that it is not mandatory to sign a NLI?
When presented, an NLI must be accompanied by an athletics aid agreement which details scholarship award money promised by NCAA or NAIA member college. Once the NLI is assigned, those terms are binding. In contrast, a prospective student-athlete not receiving athletic aid does not have to sign an NLI but may still have a signing ceremony. Regardless, all athletic aid agreements must comply with NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA regulations.
Lastly, keep in mind what I shared in a previous blog about requirements of the student-athlete to fulfill the obligations for at least one year, even if the NLI even if a coach leaves or gets fired. According to the NCAA, when a prospective student-athlete signs with an institution or the coach leaves, the NLI signee is still bound by the provisions of the NLI in. However, completing a single playing season does not fulfill the NLI obligation. No, instead, the student-athlete is required to complete the entire academic year at the signing institution. It is worth noting that NLI rules for NAIA colleges differ vastly.
Finally, seniors, as you prepare for signing day please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. I added some links for your research convenience. Also, I would love to have a picture of your signing ceremony. Please send me a copy by text, tweet or email (805-622-7827 / Twitter @michaelwoosley / firstname.lastname@example.org).