Last night, the UConn football program held its annual National Signing Day event, introducing fans to the newest Huskies. The event drew a standing room only crowd, thought to be the best turnout to date. Coach Paul Pasqualoni and his staff were entertaining and enthusiastic. As always, it was a first-class event.
Thanks to UConn’s marketing department and Brian Clark, Assistant Manager of Events for Rentschler Field, my Quinnipiac sports law class was able to attend, and we held class in the press area after the event.
Following an exciting event, we were left to discuss the legal issues involved in the NLI. The discussion really highlights the conflict involved in National Signing Day. Student-athletes are, and should be, excited about reaching this point, where they are on the verge of a college scholarship to play Division I sports. However, the terms of the NLI are one-sided and favor the schools, not the students.
It’s the rarely spoken secret of the National Letter of Intent, a four-page document that virtually every Division I institution strongly encourages high school prospects to sign.
What is thought to be guaranteed really isn’t. What people believe it represents, it doesn’t. What is meant to be a celebration, should really be a final chance for someone to closely read it.
Despite the excitement that accompanies National Signing Day, student-athletes should be aware that they are entering into a binding contract, and they must be aware of the terms of the contract.
For more information on the NLI, see the following posts: