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Wednesday, February 6 is the starting date that NCAA DI and DII and NJCAA football programs can sign current high-school seniors to a National Letter of Intent.

The Football signing periods are:

  • NCAA DI – February 6 to April 1, 2019
  • NCAA DII – February 6 to August 1, 2019
  • NJCAA – February 6 to the first day of Fall 2019 classes

The NCAA DI Basketball Signing Period begins Wednesday, April 17 and goes through May 15, 2019.

All NCAA DI and DII sports with the exception of football and basketball have signing periods that began in November 2018 and continue through August 1, 2019.

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.

The NCAA’s National Letter of Intent in all sports other than football can be signed beginning Wednesday, November 14.  Athletes being recruited by NJCAA two-year colleges can sign beginning November 1.

When an athlete signs a National Letter of Intent with an NCAA Division I or II program, they are – in effect – signing a “contract” to attend that university for at least one full academic year in exchange for the university’s offer of an athletic scholarship.

If the athlete changes their mind and chooses to not attend that university, or doesn’t attend the university for at least one full academic year, they will be penalized a season of eligibility at another Division I or II program unless that athlete is:

  • Released from the NLI one-year commitment by the university that they signed with;
  • Granted a full release on appeal by the National Letter of Intent Appeal Committee; or
  • Attends a junior college and graduates from that junior college with an Associate’s Degree.

For those athletes or families who are preparing to sign the National Letter of Intent, here’s a link to an article that describes the difficulty that one athlete had in her transfer from one college to another after she decided to not attend the university with which she had signed her National Letter of Intent.

These situations don’t happen very often, but this article illustrates one of the downsides of signing a National Letter of Intent and how important it is to understand the rules regarding an NLI BEFORE you sign:

https://bit.ly/2CTQBWz

If you have questions about the National Letter of Intent and need assistance, schedule a confidential consult online 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.