National Letter of Intent Signing Dates 2017-2018

High school recruits have certain dates to sign with the colleges that have been recruiting them, better known as signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI).  The NCAA has certain dates in which student-athletes can sign an NLI with a college.  It is important for recruits to know the National Letter of Intent signing dates when going through the college recruiting process. Below is a list of the signing dates along with some helpful NLI items.

National Letter of Intent Signing Dates 2017-2018

Basketball (Early Period)
November 8, 2017 – November 15, 2017

Basketball (Regular Period)
April 11, 2018 – May 16, 2018 (Division I)
April 11, 2018 – August 1, 2018 (Division II)

Football (Midyear JC Transfer)
December 20, 2017 – January 15, 2018

Football (Early Period)
December 20, 2017 – December 22, 2017 (Division I)

Football (Regular Period)
February 7, 2018 – April 1, 2018

Soccer and Men’s Water Polo
February 7, 2018 – August 1, 2018

All Other Sports (Early Period)
November 8, 2017 – November 15, 2017

All Other Sports (Regular Period)
April 11, 2018  – August 1, 2018

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Frequently Asked Questions : National Letters of Intent

Am I required to sign an NLI?

No.  You are not required but many student-athletes sign because it gives them certainty in the recruiting process.  They are legally committed to a university for one academic year, and they no longer have to worry about getting a scholarship.

Do I need to sign a new NLI every year?

No.  However under NCAA rules you must be notified annually regarding whether your athletics aid has been renewed.

When can I sign an NLI?

You can sign your National Letter of Intent during the designated signing period only.  If you sign outside the NLI signing period, the NLI shall be considered invalid.

What makes my NLI valid?

signing dayA valid NLI must be accompanied by an athletics financial aid agreement (aid from an athletics source).  The NLI must include the NCAA ID.  The NCAA ID will be available to the prospective student-athlete once registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center and will be available to the institution once the prospective student-athlete is placed on the Institutional Request List (IRL).  All junior college prospective student-athletes must also have an NCAA ID

included on the NLI.

How is an NLI declared null or void?

Denied admission.

Does not meet NCAA, institutional or conference eligibility requirements.

One-Year Absence.

– Signee does not enroll (two-year or four-year institution) for at least one academic year and the scholarship (in its same amount) is no longer available. Also applies to a signee who serves in the U.S. Armed Forces or Church Mission for one year. NLI remains binding if the scholarship (in its same amount) is available.

Discontinued Sport.

– Sport is no longer offered, includes student-athletes who are already enrolled.

Recruiting Rules Violation.

– NLI may be declared null and void if the violation is substantiated and prompts the need for reinstatement by the NCAA staff. It is the prospective student-athlete’s choice to null and void the NLI under these circumstances.

Do I need a parent or legal guardian to sign my NLI with me?

Yes.  If you are under the age of 21 then you must have a legal guardian or parent sign the NLI in order for it to be valid.  If your parent or legal guardian is not available (e.g. incarcerated, death) you can have another individual sign your NLI.  That person must be preapproved by the NLI Office before you and they sign the NLI.

If the coach that recruited me leaves that university is the NLI still binding?

Yes.  When you sign an NLI, you sign with an institution and not with a coach or team.

What is the penalty for wanting to back out of my NLI agreement?

If you sign an NLI with an institution and want a release to go somewhere else you must face a penalty if the initial institution doesn’t grant you a complete release.  The NLI basic penalty is that you lose one year of competition in all sports and must serve one year in residence at your next NLI institution. 

Are there any penalties for signing an NLI early?

national letter of intentProspective student-athletes who will participate in football are prohibited from signing an NLI during the early signing period (November).  A student who signs an NLI during the early period in a sport other than football will be ineligible for practice and competition in the sport of football during the student’s first year of enrollment at an NLI member institution, and shall forfeit one season of competition in the sport of football.  In circumstances where a student’s primary sport is not football, but anticipates participating in football, the student should delay signing an NLI until either the football signing period or during the regular signing period for all other sports.

Does a school have to grant me a complete release if I request it?

No.  Granting a complete release is voluntary.  If an institution denies your request for a complete release, you may petition the NLI Policy and Review Committee for Division 1 and NLI Review Committee for Division 2 for such a release.

An invalid NLI versus a Void/Null NLI.

If NLI is declared null and void or a complete release is granted, a prospective student-athlete is not permitted to sign another NLI until the next signing year.

If NLI is declared invalid, a prospective student-athlete is permitted to sign another NLI during the same signing year.