Congratulations to those Perfect Game baseball prospects who
have committed to a school and will have the opportunity to sign a National
Letter of Intent with their NCAA Division I or II future school starting
November 10. Here are some NLI general
reminders and points to keep in mind.
Signing the National Letter of Intent commits
the athlete to attend the school they sign with for one full academic year in
exchange for receiving an athletic scholarship.
If an athlete withdraws from school before completing one academic year,
they might incur penalties upon transfer to another school, unless the school
they signed with releases them. (This
release is different than a release to speak with other schools about a
transfer – two separate processes.)
The NLI must be accompanied by a financial aid
agreement from the school the prospect will sign with. If both documents are
not signed, the NLI will not be valid. Be
sure to confirm that the financial aid agreement reflects the same amount of
athletic scholarship that was offered during the recruiting process.
Coaches are not permitted to deliver the
National Letter of Intent in person.
Also, coaches are not permitted to be present when the prospect signs
the NLI. The family of a prospect will
sometimes ask if the coach can be present so they can get a picture together
when their son or daughter signs the NLI.
This is ok for Junior Colleges or NAIA schools, but not for NCAA coaches
The financial aid agreement commits the school
to provide an athletic scholarship to the athlete for one academic year. Athletes must be notified by July 1st
each year whether their athletic scholarship will be renewed for the same
amount, increased, decreased, or cancelled for the upcoming academic year. If an athlete’s scholarship is reduced or
cancelled, the athlete must be notified by the school that a hearing
opportunity is available to them.
Baseball players who are planning to play both baseball
and football at the college level (applies to both Division I and II) should
not sign with their school until the football signing period in February. A number of years ago, some schools tried to
get an advantage by having football recruits sign in other sports during the
November signing period. That loophole
was closed, and now football players or true dual-sport athletes who sign in
November will be ineligible for practice and competition during their freshman
year, and will forfeit a season of competition.
It’s permissible to “double sign” with an NCAA
school and a Junior College. That’s
somewhat common in baseball since some players want to “lock in” with an NCAA
program, but also may want to attend Junior College to have an opportunity to be
drafted after freshman year. (The Junior
College signing date for baseball is January 15.)
Players who sign with an NCAA school, but start
out at a junior college, need to keep in mind that the National Letter of
Intent that they signed with the NCAA school remains binding on them until they
graduate from the Junior College.
Athletes who sign with NCAA school A, but change their mind and want to
attend NCAA school B after junior college, will still be bound to NCAA school A
if they want to transfer before completing their Associates degree. The other option is to obtain a complete
release from their National Letter of Intent.
If you’re interested in individual assistance with questions
about recruiting, eligibility, financial aid, or transfer rules, contact Rick
Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 918-994-7271. Also, visit www.informedathlete.com to order Both
Sides of the Plate – Insider Secrets for Navigating the College Baseball