Today is National Signing Day for sports like football, soccer and men’s water polo. All other sports will sign their letters in April. But if you are a Sports Mom waiting to see if your athlete will play for an NCAA school, you are probably hoping for a National Letter of Intent from your favorite school. Here’s what you need to know if your child is about to sign one of these letters.
A National Letter of Intent is a binding agreement between an NCAA school and a student-athlete. The agreement means the student athlete agrees to attend the school for one year and the school agrees to provide financial aid (scholarship) to the student. The NLI program is only available for student athletes entering an NCAA school for the first time as a full-time student (including junior college students transferring to four-year schools).
There are advantages and disadvantages to signing a National Letter of Intent. The letter guarantees a student-athlete a least one year of financial aid. But signing a NLI puts an end to the recruiting process. You are not allowed to talk with or sign with another school. So you need to be sure this is the school you want to attend. If you do want to go elsewhere after you sign a NLI, you will lose one full year of eligibility and will sit out for one year. If you sign a National Letter of Intent with the school and the coach who recruited you leaves, you still have to play at that school. The agreement is with the school. But you will be able to get out of the agreement if you request it.
Unfortunately signing one of these agreements does not guarantee you admission to the school. You still have to be admitted to the school.
Read more online at www.nationalletter.org.
If your child is receiving one of these letters today, you have until April 1st to sign for football and August 1st for soccer and water polo.
Be careful — a National Letter of Intent (NLI) is different from a Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI is a document signed by non-scholarship athletes (walk-ons) and team managers to show their commitment to the university.
Read more about the difference here!