College Athletic Recruiting: The National Letter of Intent
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).
• An important provision of the NLI program is a recruiting prohibition applied after a prospective student-athlete signs the NLI. This prohibition requires member institutions to cease recruitment of a prospective student-athlete once an NLI is signed with another institution.
Am I required to sign an NLI?
No. You are not required to sign an NLI, but many prospective student-athletes sign because they want to create certainty in the recruiting process. Specifically, by signing an NLI, you agree to attend the institution for one year in exchange for the institution’s promise, in writing, to provide you athletics financial aid for the entire academic year. Furthermore, by signing an NLI you effectively end the recruiting process. Once you sign an NLI, a recruiting ban goes into effect and you may no longer be recruited by any other NLI school.
Who signs an NLI?
Prospective student-athletes enrolling in a four-year institution for the first time can sign an NLI. Student-athletes who start their academic career at a four-year institution and then transfer to a two-year college may also sign an NLI if they plan on entering a second four-year institution.
Do I sign an NLI every year?
No. Although under NCAA rules you must be notified annually regarding whether your athletics aid has been renewed, you only sign an NLI when you first enroll in a four-year institution or if you are a 4-2-4 transfer student.
Can a school send me my NLI by email?
Yes. It is permissible for an institution to provide a prospective student-athlete with an NLI as an attachment to an email provided the offer of athletic aid is also included in the email. Be sure to follow the institution’s instructions for signing and returning the NLI and athletics aid agreement to the institution. It is important that you keep a copy of the NLI and athletics aid agreement for your records.
Is it permissible to submit the NLI to the institution by fax or electronically?
Yes. When you sign the NLI you enter into an agreement with the institution. Fax and email only represent the means by which you transmit the NLI. Accordingly, an NLI transmitted electronically is permissible. Be sure to follow the institution’s instructions for signing and returning the NLI and athletics aid agreement to the institution. It is important that you keep a copy of the NLI and athletics aid agreement for your records.
Visit www.victoryrecruiting.com for additional information on navigating college recruiting.