Signing week for high school athletes

by Grace

Signing week just ended, having run from November 3  to 16. For the uninitiated, Joe Lombardi offers some informative questions and answers on this topic of special interest to high school varsity athletes looking at their college options.

What is Signing Week?
The time when recruited athletes may signing National Letters of Intent. For most sports (except football), those signing periods are in November and April of the recruit’s senior year. The signing period for football runs from Feb. 1 to April 1.

What is a National Letter of Intent?
Also known as an NLI. It is a written document signed by a recruit stating his attention to attend a particular college for a minimum of one academic year. In return, the college promises to provide financial aid for a minimum of one academic year. It is offered by Division I and Division II colleges in most conferences. Military academies and Ivy League schools do not offer NLIs.

Who runs the NLI program?
The daily operations are managed by the NCAA Eligibility Center. The Collegiate Commissioners Association oversees the program.

What if a recruit signs an NLI and then decides he or she doesn’t want to attend that college after all before enrolling?
Signed recruits may request a release from their commitment. If it is granted by the college, they do not have to sit out a year if they transfer to another program for most sports, except basketball and football.

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