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It IS possible for a recruit to sign both an NJCAA Letter of Intent with a junior college and also sign an NCAA National Letter of Intent with an NCAA Division I or II university.

Baseball and Football are the two most common sports where an athlete double-signs.

For baseball, an athlete may sign with both organizations if they want the option to go to junior college for just one year in hopes of then being drafted in the Major League Baseball draft and signing a professional contract. (Baseball players who enroll at a four-year college normally can’t be drafted until after their 3rd year of college unless they have an early birthday.)

For football, it has been somewhat common over the years to see an athlete sign with both an NCAA university and a Junior College program when the family isn’t sure whether the athlete will satisfy the NCAA academic requirements to be eligible as a freshman. The junior college the athlete signs with can then be their “Plan B” to play right away while getting bigger and stronger and then having the chance to be “re-recruited” from the junior college to an NCAA football program.

If you have questions regarding the National Letter of Intent and options available to your student-athlete, schedule a scholarship strategies consult online or by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Recruited high-school student-athletes CAN double-sign a National Letter of Intent.  

Double-signing with an NCAA team and a NJCAA team provides an Option A and an Option B if a high-school athlete does not satisfy the academic requirements for NCAA eligibility and is classified as a NCAA Non-Qualifier.

A high-school athlete is NOT allowed to sign an NLI with two NCAA teams, even if one is an NCAA Division I and the other is a DII. A high-school recruited athlete is also not allowed to sign with two junior college teams.

A word of caution: There can be a down-side of signing.  For example, a high-school athlete is a NCAA Qualifier, signs with an NCAA school and a Junior College, but then decides to go to the Junior College for whatever reason.  In this case, the student-athlete will have to obtain an NLI release from the NCAA school.

In addition, there will be additional requirements that must be met if that same athlete does not get their release from the NCAA school, attends and plays for the Junior College school and then wants to transfer to another NCAA school in the future.

If your high-school athlete is considering double-signing, we can discuss the various scenarios available and save you potential heartaches and money down the road. Click here to schedule a confidential scholarship strategies consultation or call our office at 913-766-1235.

I’m often asked by high school student-athletes or parents if it’s possible to “double-sign” with a Junior College and an NCAA institution. Because they are separate organizations, it is possible to sign a letter of intent with a school in each organization.

Since it’s best not to burn any bridges, student-athletes and parents should consider being honest with the schools about the double-signing so that the college coaches don’t get caught off-guard. You never know when you might choose to transfer to that other school that you signed with.

In some sports, primarily football and baseball, double-signing can actually be a good scholarship strategy under the right circumstances:

For example, a high round baseball draft choice may sign a letter of intent with a Junior College as well as with an NCAA school, to keep open the option of playing at the junior college for one year, and then have the opportunity to be drafted again the following year.

In the case of that baseball draft choice in the example above, what will happen in the case of an injury and the athlete is not drafted as hoped? The athlete will want to be eligible to play when he transfers to the NCAA university.

Regardless of the reason that an athlete starts their college career at a junior college, athletes who do this should keep in mind the NCAA eligibility and transfer rules that may apply to them should they end up transferring from the JUCO to an NCAA Division I or II program.

Also, for high school prospects who sign a National Letter of Intent with an NCAA Division I or II program, but decide to enroll in a JUCO instead, remember that the NLI that you signed remains binding upon you until you graduate from the JUCO or until you are released from the NLI by the school that you signed with.

If you have questions about this article or anything else related to recruiting, transfers, scholarships, or eligibility, please call Informed Athlete at 913-766-1235 or send me an email to rick@informedathlete.com.