Connecticut Sports Recruiting: National Letter of Intent Basics

Connecticut Sports Law has covered the legal aspects of the National Letter of Intent (NLI) in some detail.  The primary issue is whether the NLI is an enforceable contract.  Nevertheless, most student-athletes and their parents are not interested in legal theory, but want to know how the NLI affects them.  Here are 3 key points to understand before signing a NLI:

1.  What are the advantages of signing a NLI?

The college or university commits to providing the student-athlete with an athletic scholarship for one year, providing the student-athlete is granted admission to the school.  In addition, upon signing the NLI, the student-athlete is effectively off the market, and should not receive recruiting letters and calls.

2.  What happens if the student-athlete decides to attend another school?

If a student-athlete signs a NLI with one school, and before attending that school for one year, enrolls in another school, there is a penalty.  The penalty requires the student-athletes to sit out his or her first year at the new school in any sport.  The student-athlete also loses one year of athletic eligibility.

There is a release and appeals process for student-athletes that wish to be released from the NLI.

3.  The coach who recruited the student-athlete leaves for another school.  Is the NLI still in effect?

Yes.  Despite the fact that most student-athletes choose a school based largely upon a particular coach, the NLI specifically states that the commitment is to the school, not a coach.  If a coach leaves a school, all of the players that he or she recruited are bound to the school if they signed the NLI.

Remember that the NLI is voluntary

For more on the NLI, check out the official NLI website.

Comments

  1. Great stuff – thank you – but the blue font remains very tough for us old guys. But, blue fonts are better than no fonts. Keep up the good work.

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