November 14, 2018 is the date a player can sign their Letter of Intent. Student-athletes who have committed to D1 and majority of D2 programs across the country will sign their National Letter of Intent. A player signs a NLI if he receives athletic scholarship money from the school. If you are receiving academic scholarship money only, then you do not sign a NLI. The National Letter of Intent is a binding agreement that the student-athlete will attend that school for 1 year. The signing period is open from November 14th, 2018 until August 1, 2019.
Many institutions that do not participate in the NLI program will have their incoming athletes sign Commitment Papers. From an athlete’s point of view this is a good thing. It puts your agreement in writing and states what is being given and what is expected in return. Not every school will do this so be sure to ask your future institution about their process.
The below info is from the National Letter of Intent website. Visit www.nationlletter.org to learn more!
About the National Letter of Intent (NLI)
The NCAA manages the daily operations of the NLI program while the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) provides governance oversight of the program. Started in 1964 with seven conferences and eight independent institutions, the program now includes 650 Division I and Division II participating institutions.
The NLI is a voluntary program with regard to both institutions and student-athletes. No prospective student-athlete or parent is required to sign the NLI and no institution is required to join the program.
The NLI is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution.
- A prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the institution full-time for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters).
- The institution agrees to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters).
The penalty for not fulfilling the NLI agreement: A student-athlete has to serve one year in residence (full-time, two semesters or three quarters) at the next NLI member institution and lose one season of competition in all sports unless:
- the player gets their release from the university
- the player gets a release from the National Letter of Intent Appeal Committee
- the player attends junior college and gets his Associate’s Degree
An important provision of the NLI program is a recruiting prohibition applied after a prospective student-athlete signs the NLI. This prohibition requires member institutions to cease recruitment of a prospective student-athlete once an NLI is signed with another institution.