College Athletic Recruiting: National Letter of Intent (Part 2)
Am I required to sign the NLI on the initial signing day for my sport? No. Signing the NLI is voluntary at any and all times. Prospective student-athletes are not required to sign the NLI on the first day of the signing period. Many prospective student-athletes do choose to sign their NLI on the first available day to bring an end to the recruiting process. You should note the NLI Provision allows a student 7 day from the date the NLI is issued (or the initial signing date if the NLI is received before that date) to sign and still have it declared valid.
Is it necessary for a parent or legal guardian to sign the NLI? Yes. If you are under the age of 21, regardless of marital status, your parent or legal guardian must sign the NLI in order for it to be considered valid. If you are 21 years of age or older, it is not necessary for your parent or legal guardian to sign the document.
If I sign an NLI in one sport may I sign a second NLI in a different sport? No. You may only sign one valid NLI annually. Furthermore, when you sign an NLI, the letter is signed with an institution and not with a coach.
If I am going to walk-on to the team, may I sign an NLI? No. An institution is strictly prohibited from allowing you to sign an NLI if you are a non-scholarship walk-on prospect. In order for an NLI to be considered valid, it must be accompanied by an athletics financial aid award letter, which lists the terms and conditions of the award, including the amount of the financial aid. The athletics financial aid offer must be signed by both the prospective student-athlete and his or her parent or legal guardian. Simply put, there must be an athletics scholarship for an NLI to be valid.
Where is my signed NLI filed and who is responsible for filing it? You should sign your NLI in duplicate. Once you have signed it twice, retain one copy of the signed NLI for your records. You should send the other copy back to the institution. When the institution receives it, they are responsible for forwarding a copy to their conference office. The institution must file your NLI with its conference within 14 days after the date of final signature. If this filing deadline is not met, the letter will be declared invalid.