To sign or not to sign: The Pros and Cons of NLI

No one forced her to commit to Akron when she was fifteen. She signed the NLI after visiting Akron and coming away with red flag feelings. Whose fault is it she committed, then signed?

Without NLI’s how would coaches know how many players they have? Whose fault would it be if a player refuses to sign an NLI and shows up at the school to find out there isn’t roster space? 

I believe if a coach leaves or the school gets placed on probation a NLI should be voided. I don’t believe schools should be allowed to make offers before the start of junior year. But otherwise it’s how business is done. The process would be mayhem without the NLI. Not releasing players protects game playing. 

My daughter received offers the summer after freshman year. She decided to commit in the spring of soph year. I asked her several times over several days, “Are you sure this is where you want to go?” She wasn’t signing an NLI yet. But she was essentially taking her name off the table. 

She didn’t have to sign so early. But maybe the offer isn’t there in a year or two. Her decision was more academic than athletic. 

I would be interested in hearing from others in the know, some more about the following from the article:  “I’ve helped girls get recruited. I will never, ever have girls sign those again after what Allie went through because you don’t have to. There is another way of securing your scholarship through athletic participation. You sign with the university and not the NLI.”  Thanks in advance for sharing!

 

RJM posted:

No one forced her to commit to Akron when she was fifteen. She signed the NLI after visiting Akron and coming away with red flag feelings. Whose fault is it she committed, then signed?

Without NLI’s how would coaches know how many players they have? Whose fault would it be if a player refuses to sign an NLI and shows up at the school to find out there isn’t roster space? 

I believe if a coach leaves or the school gets placed on probation a NLI should be voided. I don’t believe schools should be allowed to make offers before the start of junior year. But otherwise it’s how business is done. The process would be mayhem without the NLI. Not releasing players protects game playing. 

My daughter received offers the summer after freshman year. She decided to commit in the spring of soph year. I asked her several times over several days, “Are you sure this is where you want to go?” She wasn’t signing an NLI yet. But she was essentially taking her name off the table. 

She didn’t have to sign so early. But maybe the offer isn’t there in a year or two. Her decision was more academic than athletic. 

Did you read the part about the social media posts of Akron teammates smoking and drinking after she already signed?  Article did not specify what they were smoking.  Also, don’t Coaches want players that want to be at their particular school?  Good riddens if you don’t want to be there?

RoadRunner posted:
RJM posted:

No one forced her to commit to Akron when she was fifteen. She signed the NLI after visiting Akron and coming away with red flag feelings. Whose fault is it she committed, then signed?

Without NLI’s how would coaches know how many players they have? Whose fault would it be if a player refuses to sign an NLI and shows up at the school to find out there isn’t roster space? 

I believe if a coach leaves or the school gets placed on probation a NLI should be voided. I don’t believe schools should be allowed to make offers before the start of junior year. But otherwise it’s how business is done. The process would be mayhem without the NLI. Not releasing players protects game playing. 

My daughter received offers the summer after freshman year. She decided to commit in the spring of soph year. I asked her several times over several days, “Are you sure this is where you want to go?” She wasn’t signing an NLI yet. But she was essentially taking her name off the table. 

She didn’t have to sign so early. But maybe the offer isn’t there in a year or two. Her decision was more academic than athletic. 

Did you read the part about the social media posts of Akron teammates smoking and drinking after she already signed?  Article did not specify what they were smoking.  Also, don’t Coaches want players that want to be at their particular school?  Good riddens if you don’t want to be there?

The NLI is bigger than an individual situation. If they are to be disregarded all hell breaks out ... both ways.

It's one sided all the way (from the verbal to signing NLI) BUT you have a choice. Once you verbal you are off the market, sign the NLI and you cannot leave until released. I like the voided concept by RJM, it protects the players. Son's HC who recruited got fired and they said they wouldn't release the players until they heard from the new HC. It worked out, BUT had he decided to leave, his options were limited as it was later summer.  

Your choice is to be measured and make sure you want to verbal and sign. 

i thought it was striking that one of her coaches commented that She really did her homework this time.

It's easy to get swept away by the excitement of it all, and signing and NLI in front of your friends and classmates and in some cases news photographers can sound real appealing. Making sure you've done your homework up front seems to be the big takeaway from this article.

I don't think many players will be able to not sign their NLI, because coaches would move on.  The NLI definitely favors the school, and it is a conundrum when it isn't working out at a school for one reason or another.  Sometimes a school just isn't a good fit, and the player may not know that until he/she gets to campus. You can do all the research you want, but until the kid is on campus, away from their parents, etc., you don't fully know how it is going to work out.  

I have a little bit of a problem with using drinking/smoking as the reason for transferring, because I'm not sure there are many colleges without this issue.  However, if it seriously is not a good fit for the kid, I think the appeals process should be a little more than just a dog and pony show.  

Do you think colleges would balk if players stopped signing NLI's and just said I will sign an agreement with the college.   Which could be verbalized as long as everything is as agreed upon our agreement is binding but if coach leaves, money is not there, you want to redshirt me, or etc. etc. etc. this contract is no longer binding.   Would coaches and colleges agree to it?  This could change the recruiting process all together.  I don't see a coach having a problem with it saying if he left it is no longer binding.   Pretty much like a pre-nuptial in marriage. 

So she essentially decided she didn't like Akron anymore....before ever setting foot on campus for school or starting in the program.  Also, the fact they went "4-43-1" wasn't a factor.  I don't know the girl, but I can tell you that it had to be a factor.   As much as people would like the system to be different, being able to get out of an NLI just because you changed your mind is a situation that nobody wants to allow to get started.

russinfortworth posted:

I know it's not the same, but she technically doesn't lose a year if she redshirts this year............she just won't have that option in future, correct?

No because officially she is on Akron roster due to NLI and they will not redshirt her. 

russinfortworth posted:

I know it's not the same, but she technically doesn't lose a year if she redshirts this year............she just won't have that option in future, correct?

I believe if Akron had released her from her NLI she would have to sit out the year. But she would have five years to play four. By not releasing her burns a year of eligibility. This is Rick’s area of expertise.,

I am not advocating for student athletes to sign or not. But it seems to me that the NLI is a one sided contract that protects the school and coach. If the coach wants a player on his team, the player will be there. If not, the player will not be there even if the player signs. 

 

RoadRunner posted:

I am not advocating for student athletes to sign or not. But it seems to me that the NLI is a one sided contract that protects the school and coach. If the coach wants a player on his team, the player will be there. If not, the player will not be there even if the player signs. 

 

Without NLI’s teams wouldn’t know who is really going to show up in the fall. Teams would have to grossly over recruit. There would be fifty qualified players for thirty-five roster spots. This is what happens in D3 except they can roster all fifty (not that half the players will ever see the field).

As previously mentioned NLI’s could be fine tuned for some exceptions. But they serve a purpose. I don’t feel sorry for the girl in the story. No one forced her to verbal early. No one forced her to sign her NLI even after she visited campus and didn’t feel right. If she could play anywhere in the country as her coach said *** she could have got offers senior year. 

What I see is a “I made a bad decision” victim story. Now, how do I look like a victim and get out of my jam?

*** I don’t believe it. It’s a big jump from Akron and Miami of Ohio to anywhere in the country. If she was that good at the least Ohio State would have been all over her.

There is so much pressure these days put on athletes (and non-athletes) to do whatever is necessary to get into college.  Add to that the cost to attend a good college and the pressure is additive.  My niece after freshman year was in a funk because most of her highly competitive travel softball teammates had given verbals and she had sporadic interest.  Within 6 months she gave her verbal to a very good D1 program with top academics.  My concern is how can a "kid" at 13 - 16 yrs old be expected to know where in several years down the line have any idea what a "fit" is?  It will be up to the parents to determine what THEY THINK will be the best fit for the athlete, and we all know how that goes when parents make life changing decisions for their child.  One of the biggest fears is that if I pass this offer up there may not be a better one, or this one will no longer be available.  Yes this whole process favors the college (NCAA) and the athlete has limited choices once the process begins.  There will always be reasons (valid/speculative) for buyers remorse  3-4 years later from a kid who today has trouble deciding what color top goes with this bottom.  I guess take home message would be things happen for a reason, don't second guess and look back, trust in the process, and once verbal/NLI are given get ready for a whole new experience.

Trust In Him posted:

There is so much pressure these days put on athletes (and non-athletes) to do whatever is necessary to get into college.  Add to that the cost to attend a good college and the pressure is additive.  My niece after freshman year was in a funk because most of her highly competitive travel softball teammates had given verbals and she had sporadic interest.  Within 6 months she gave her verbal to a very good D1 program with top academics.  My concern is how can a "kid" at 13 - 16 yrs old be expected to know where in several years down the line have any idea what a "fit" is?  It will be up to the parents to determine what THEY THINK will be the best fit for the athlete, and we all know how that goes when parents make life changing decisions for their child.  One of the biggest fears is that if I pass this offer up there may not be a better one, or this one will no longer be available.  Yes this whole process favors the college (NCAA) and the athlete has limited choices once the process begins.  There will always be reasons (valid/speculative) for buyers remorse  3-4 years later from a kid who today has trouble deciding what color top goes with this bottom.  I guess take home message would be things happen for a reason, don't second guess and look back, trust in the process, and once verbal/NLI are given get ready for a whole new experience.

My daughter got her first offers summer after freshman year and committed during soph year. I asked her repeatedly, “Are you sure?” It was one of the top schools for the major she knew she wanted freshman year of high school. She didn’t change majors. 

I’m all for colleges not being allowed to talk to athletes until June after soph year in any shape or form. But things are the way they are so you get educated and maneuver the course.

Roothog’s son made a great statement when he was fifteen. When asked about his plans he replied, “I’m fifteen. I haven’t figured out what I want for lunch.”

What is not mentioned in this story is that Miami and Akron are both in the MAC. Why would Akron release a player they recruited so an adversary could have her. If they felt strongly that she was a great player why would they want to have to face her. 

Would they have released her if she went to another conference? I doubt it, however they have to face Miami in conference play 3 times a year, then maybe again in the MAC tournament. 

 

d-mac posted:

There have been some high profile football and basketball recruits that refused to sign their LOI.  Tyler Dorsey and Roquan Smith are two recent guys who didn't sign one.  If you are a highly sought after recruit you can get away with it.  

Here is a great article about why you shouldn't sign and LOI  

https://sports.vice.com/en_ca/...al-letters-of-intent

Not signing can work out for top prospects. But for everyone else. I’ll borrow a line from Bill Cosby that defines most even D1 prospects ...

“I brought you in this world, and I can take you out. And it don't make no difference to me, I'll make another one look just like you.”

I once asked my son what’s the difference between him and the next five hundred prospects just to give him something to think about. 

d-mac posted:

There have been some high profile football and basketball recruits that refused to sign their LOI.  Tyler Dorsey and Roquan Smith are two recent guys who didn't sign one.  If you are a highly sought after recruit you can get away with it.  

Here is a great article about why you shouldn't sign and LOI  

https://sports.vice.com/en_ca/...al-letters-of-intent

Excellent article. Thank you for posting.  I guess things boil down to how badly the college coach wants the player. To speak to RJM concern about mayhem and coaches not knowing who they have for a team, student athletes can sign an intent to enroll. Also, the NLI only effects new (to school) student athletes. Your roster of sophomores, juniors and seniors is pretty firm, except for those that coach wants to cut. The transfer rules would still be in effect, so I don’t think it would be complete chaos as RJM has suggested. If you are fishing in the wrong pond tho, you will lose your spot no doubt. But isn’t that what happens anyhow?

Am I missing something?  That NLI sets up the financing you agreed to with the coach.  Without that, what good is a scholarship if you don't know the amount?  Also, if you aren't signing, why would a coach save that money for you?  I don't see this as one sided.  The player does get something and with some major conferences, they can get 4 years of that agreement.  

CoachB25 posted:

Am I missing something?  That NLI sets up the financing you agreed to with the coach.  Without that, what good is a scholarship if you don't know the amount?  Also, if you aren't signing, why would a coach save that money for you?  I don't see this as one sided.  The player does get something and with some major conferences, they can get 4 years of that agreement.  

You sign a financial aid agreement with the school instead of the NLI

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