National Letter of Intent

NCAADon’t get caught without knowing the rules.

Whether you’re getting started on the recruiting scene or you’ve been at it for awhile, there are more rules than you can to keep track of.  Fortunately, the burden is on the coaches to abide by the rules.

However, it’s especially good to be familiar with the recruiting calendar, because it will affect your expectations.

“Why aren’t any coaches calling my kid?”  “When are we allowed to visit campuses?”

These are just a couple questions parents and athletes ask at one time or other.

The NCAA has a great resource page that answers the most-asked questions, especially about recruiting calendars.  And that’s the topic of this week’s post.

Recruiting Calendars

NCAA member schools have adopted rules to create an equitable recruiting environment that promotes student-athlete well-being. The rules define who may be involved in the recruiting process, when recruiting may occur and the conditions under which recruiting may be conducted.

Recruiting rules seek, as much as possible, to control intrusions into the lives of student-athletes.

The NCAA defines recruiting as “any solicitation of prospective student-athletes or their parents by an institutional staff member or by a representative of the institution’s athletics interests for the purpose of securing a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment and ultimate participation in the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a contact?

A contact occurs any time a college coach says more than hello during a face-to-face contact with a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents off the college’s campus.

What is a contact period?

During a contact period a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.

What is an evaluation period?

During an evaluation period a college coach may watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period.

What is a quiet period?

During a quiet period, a college coach may only have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents on the college’s campus.  A coach may not watch student-athletes compete (unless a competition occurs on the college’s campus) or visit their high schools. Coaches may write or telephone college-bound student-athletes or their parents during this time.

What is a dead period?

During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.

What is the difference between an official visit and an unofficial visit?

Any visit to a college campus by a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents paid for by the college is an official visit. Visits paid for by college-bound student-athletes or their parents are unofficial visits.

During an official visit the college can pay for transportation to and from the college for the prospect, lodging and three meals per day for both the prospect and the parent or guardian, as well as reasonable entertainment expenses including three tickets to a home sports event.

The only expenses a college-bound student-athlete may receive from a college during an unofficial visit are three tickets to a home sports event.

What is a National Letter of Intent?

A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete when the student-athlete agrees to attend a Division I or II college or university for one academic year. Participating institutions agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is admitted to the school and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. Other forms of financial aid do not guarantee the student-athlete financial aid.

The National Letter of Intent is voluntary and not required for a student-athlete to receive financial aid or participate in sports.

Signing an National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process since participating schools are prohibited from recruiting student-athletes who have already signed letters with other participating schools.

A student-athlete who has signed a National Letter of Intent may request a release from his or her contract with the school. If a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent with one school but attends a different school, he or she will lose one full year of eligibility and must complete a full academic year at their new school before being eligible to compete.

What are recruiting calendars?

Recruiting calendars help promote the well-being prospective student-athletes and coaches and ensure competitive equity by defining certain time periods in which recruiting may or may not occur in a particular sport.

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national-letter-of-intentNational Signing Day is coming to a close, and thousands of high school athletes have achieved their dream.  They’ve been signed to an athletic scholarship.  If this includes you, then congratulations.  There will be many more signings between now and when the period ends, but this is the day that kicked it all off.

Here’s how one of our Recruit-Me families shared their joy with us just days ago, anticipating today:

“Hi Jon, wanted to update you that our daughter  received three very good  scholarship offers and has accepted to St Francis University, 4 time defending NEC Champs and is very excited for next year.  We can’t sign letter of intent until April 17th.”

Well, today she signed.  I can imagine the excitement in that home. 

The Dad went on to write,  “Your guidance with this program was extremely valuable, from sending out her profile to the proper schools and all the steps in between.  The do’s and dont’s, a great help.   We’ll need it again for our son, a current grade nine and into lacrosse big time.  Thanks again.”

Other signing news:

Baseball basketball volleyball footballFrom LSU:  Brian Bridgewater, the MVP in the Top 28 state playoffs for Scotlandville High School, signed National Letter of Intent papers with the LSU men’s basketball team on Wednesday.

From Maui:  Six student-athletes sat at the front table in the high school counseling room at Kamehameha Schools Maui about an hour ago for spring National Letter of Intent signing day.

Volleyball players led the way — two-time MIL Player of the Year Bobbi-Lin Kalama signed with NCAA Division I Sienna College, Sienna Rae Davis signed with Hawaii-Hilo and Anuhea Kaiaokamalie signed with Chico State, where she will also be part of the honors program.

Football players at the table included Dylan Nakoa. who signed with Notre Dame College in February, Acer Pahukoa signed documents with D-III Carleton College of Minnesota, and Bryson Arakaki sat at the table and is deciding between Illinois College and Dixie State.

From Sarasota, Florida:   At Venice, five Lady Indians, including three from the school’s state championship volleyball team, put pen to paper on the National Signing Day.

Venice’s Caitlin Elsadek received an athletic scholarship despite the fact that Florida high schools don’t offer the sport in which she participates. Elsadek will attend SUNY College at Brockport in Rochester, N.Y., on a gymnastics scholarship.

“It’s always been my dream to compete on the college level,” said Elsadek, who competed for Club Horizon Gymnastics in Port Charlotte. “I’m super-excited.”

Wherever you are in the scholarship hunt, let me encourage you to continue to pursue your dream. 

 

Most people think of National Signing Day for athletic scholarships coming in February.  However, if you are not being recruited as a football player nor compete in field hockey, soccer, track and field, cross country, men’s water polo, National Signing Day is this Wednesday. It is considered the Early Signing Period, as there will be another opportunity in the spring.  This video from the NCAA might help clarify things for you:

 

There’s a lot of nervousness on the part of parents and athletes when the November period comes. However, if you don’t get signed in this period, don’t fret. A lot will happen between now and next Fall. There will be scholarship opportunities.

On National Signing Day (or Period), the athlete signs a National Letter of Intent. The NCAA explains the NLI this way:

“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).

“Basic 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.