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National Letter of Intent Adjusts Signing Periods

National Letter of Intent Adjusts Signing Periods

National Letter of Intent Updates


  • The National Letter of Intent suspended signings for D1 and D2 sports this spring, and signing did not resume until April 15.
  • The Division 1 Basketball Regular Signing Period has been extended until August 1, 2020
  • The Division 1 and Division 2 Football Regular Signing Periods has been extended until August 1, 2020
  • The Regular Signing Period for all other D1/D2 sports remains unchanged, and will go until August 1

Learn how the new Signing Periods impact the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes.

What is the NLI?

The NLI is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and a school that includes two separate documents: the National Letter of Intent and a financial aid package. When a student-athlete signs an NLI, they are committing to attend one year at the school and the school is committing to provide an athletic scholarship for that year. Once the documents are signed, the student-athlete’s recruiting journey ends and they can no longer be recruited by other programs.

Do all student-athletes have to sign the NLI?

While there are 657 Division 1 and Division 2 NLI member institutions, student-athletes are not required to sign the NLI to compete in college.

It’s also important to note that Division 3, NAIA and Junior College Programs do not utilize the NLI. Instead, NAIA and NJCAA institutions have their own versions of the letter. For student-athletes who still want to experience of signing a letter, Division 3 programs allow recruits to sign a celebratory commitment form.

COVID-19’s impact on college recruiting

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted college recruiting beyond changes to the NLI Signing Periods. From NCAA rules changes to canceled recruiting events, you can find the latest updates and solutions for college recruiting during this time on NCSA’s website.

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