What's in a National Letter of Intent?

November 25, 2013

Must See College Recruiting Videos

High school athletes who take their sport seriously may be looking for that light at the end of the tunnel of their senior year: the National Letter of Intent to play for a college or university. The National Letter of Intent marks the end of the recruiting process and sets up student-athletes for the next phase of their academic and athletic careers.

But what do those letters really mean? Let's take a look. It is important that all athletes and their families realize what a huge commitment this is.

The National Letter of Intent is a Binding Agreement

Signing an National Letter of Intent means you agree to attend that college or university for one academic year. In return, the educational institution agrees to award athletics financial aid for one year.

The athlete commits to the institution, not the coaching staff. Should a coach leave, you are still committed to the institution for an academic year, not an athletic season. You must be a full-time student to fulfill the agreement. Even if you quit the team, you must remain at the institution for an academic year.

Do I Have to Sign an National Letter of Intent?

Athletes are not required to sign an National Letter of Intent, but many choose to. Signing a National Letter of Intent finalizes the recruiting process. Once it's signed, other schools are required to stop recruiting the athlete.

The National Letter of Intent is different from a verbal commitment. Verbal commitments are not binding and can be changed.

You need to be sure you are fully committed to the school before you sign on the dotted line.

Can I Get Out of an National Letter of Intent?

Yes, but it is extremely difficult. Athletes can ask for a full or partial release, but schools are not obligated to grant it.

If your school says no, you can petition for a release, but petitions are heard on a case-by-case basis, and the outcome is up to the review board.

Breaking the agreement of an National Letter of Intent can mean that you lose a year of eligibility, so weigh the decision carefully.

For further information, check out the National Letter of Intent's website through the NCAA.

Read more:

Steve Green
- Steve Green is freelance writer specializing in athlete performance and the college recruiting process. An ACE-certified personal trainer and a Level 1 Sports Performance Coach...
Steve Green
- Steve Green is freelance writer specializing in athlete performance and the college recruiting process. An ACE-certified personal trainer and a Level 1 Sports Performance Coach...
Must See
Dashon Goldson: Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 5,064,359
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,566,383
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 37,418,296

Featured Videos

Basketball Shooting Drill: Kevin Love's Turn-and-Shoot Drill Basketball Shooting Drill: Kevin Love's Turn-and-Shoot Drill Views: 1,894
SEALFIT: Pushing the Limits of What Athletes Are Capable Of SEALFIT: Pushing the Limits of What Athletes Are Capable Of
Athletic Gaines: Get Faster With Weighted Sled Pushes Athletic Gaines: Get Faster With Weighted Sled Pushes
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 6,081,054
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,928
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,919,945
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,869
Yoga for Athletes: Crow Pose Yoga for Athletes: Crow Pose
Views: 3,539,411

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
The Tennis College Recruiting Summer Checklist

The Tennis College Recruiting Summer Checklist

Whether you are a high school junior or senior, the summer represents a very important time in the tennis recruiting process. You need to investigate...

Meet the A to Z Basketball Insiders

Meet the A to Z Basketball Insiders

Why You Should Consider Post-Grad Prep School for Football

Why You Should Consider Post-Grad Prep School for Football

Demystifying the College Athletic Recruiting Process

Demystifying the College Athletic Recruiting Process

4 Key Steps When Contacting College Coaches

4 Key Steps When Contacting College Coaches

What the New SAT Means for Student-Athletes

What the New SAT Means for Student-Athletes

14-Year-Old Quarterback Verbally Commits to LSU

14-Year-Old Quarterback Verbally Commits to LSU

5 Essential Steps for College Recruits

5 Essential Steps for College Recruits

Featured STACKlete: Reagan Rogers

Featured STACKlete: Reagan Rogers

College Football Recruits: 5 Strategies to Get Noticed

College Football Recruits: 5 Strategies to Get Noticed

Combatting the Early Commitment Epidemic in Womens Soccer

Combatting the Early Commitment Epidemic in Women

3 Tips for Writing a Strong College Recruiting Mission Statement

3 Tips for Writing a Strong College Recruiting Mission Statement

Volleyball Recruiting: Why Hasn't the Coach Called Me?

Volleyball Recruiting: Why Hasn't the Coach Called Me?

The 50 Best Colleges for Female Athletes

The 50 Best Colleges for Female Athletes

How to Create a Recruiting Video That Coaches Will Watch

How to Create a Recruiting Video That Coaches Will Watch

The 50 Best D-II and D-III Colleges for Athletes

The 50 Best D-II and D-III Colleges for Athletes

Basketball Recruiting: It's Never Too Late

Basketball Recruiting: It's Never Too Late

3 Ways to Climb the Recruiting Ladder

3 Ways to Climb the Recruiting Ladder

STACK Recruiting Guide 2014: Victor Cruz and the 'It' Factor

STACK Recruiting Guide 2014: Victor Cruz and the 'It' Factor

New NCAA Rules on Junior College Football Recruiting Explained

New NCAA Rules on Junior College Football Recruiting Explained

The 50 Best Colleges for Male Athletes

The 50 Best Colleges for Male Athletes

Volleyball Recruiting: Searching for More Than Talent

Volleyball Recruiting: Searching for More Than Talent

How a Bad Game Affects Your Recruiting Status

How a Bad Game Affects Your Recruiting Status

College Baseball Recruiting: How to Control Your Own Destiny

College Baseball Recruiting: How to Control Your Own Destiny

Recruiting: You Need to Score, But Your Coach Won't Let You?

Recruiting: You Need to Score, But Your Coach Won't Let You?

College Recruiting Evaluations: A Different Perspective

College Recruiting Evaluations: A Different Perspective

7 Bad Behaviors That Will Help You Play College Sports

7 Bad Behaviors That Will Help You Play College Sports

The 50 Best Colleges for Athletes

The 50 Best Colleges for Athletes

The Best College Football Programs

The Best College Football Programs

3 Ways to Trust Your Gut During the College Recruiting Process

3 Ways to Trust Your Gut During the College Recruiting Process

Do Athletes Make Better Students?

Do Athletes Make Better Students?

Why You Should Play Small-School Sports

Why You Should Play Small-School Sports

College Recruiting FAQ: Early Action vs. Early Decision

College Recruiting FAQ: Early Action vs. Early Decision

The Best (and Worst) Part of Choosing a School

The Best (and Worst) Part of Choosing a School

College Recruiting FAQ: How Does National Signing Day Work?

College Recruiting FAQ: How Does National Signing Day Work?

Prepare Early for the College Recruiting Process

Prepare Early for the College Recruiting Process

Basketball Recruits: What You Should Do in November

Basketball Recruits: What You Should Do in November

5 Things to Know About Football Recruiting

5 Things to Know About Football Recruiting

Tennis Recruiting: Making a Decision

Tennis Recruiting: Making a Decision

What is a Parent's Role in Recruiting?

What is a Parent's Role in Recruiting?

The Best Men's College Basketball Programs

The Best Men's College Basketball Programs

The Best Women's College Basketball Programs

The Best Women's College Basketball Programs

YardBarker