The National Letter of Intent and “National Signing Day” gets a lot of press and fanfare. I bring this up because today, Wednesday, November 14th, is the initial signing date for prospective student-athletes signing during 2018-2019 and enrolling in college 2019-2020. But if you pay attention to ESPN, sports networks and other channels, then you would know most of the fanfare surrounding National Signing Day and the initial signing period is mainly focused on football and basketball commitments. What does it all mean though for wrestlers who intend to go on and compete in college?
The basic gist of the NLI (National Letter of Intent) is that you are making a commitment to attend and compete for the institution of your choice for at least one year. When you sign the NLI, its a binding agreement between you and the school. And it comes with some stipulations to know:
And one more thing, if you don’t comply with these provisions, then you will have to sit out for one year while you attend your next college or university as a full-time student for two semesters (or three quarters). What about the other side of the commitment? Your future college wrestling program can either renew or not renew your scholarship after one year, but whatever they choose, they must inform you of the decision. Past the first year there are pretty much no guarantees.
For starters, the NLI only pertains to student-athletes who are attending NCAA Division I and II athletic institutions and programs. You also can’t sign a National Letter of Intent if you are not being offered an athletic scholarship in any amount from the institution. Another thing to know is that you will also need to sign your financial aid award package as well but they are not the same or tied together. One is your need-based aid and the other is your athletic scholarship offer.
If you know in advance that you will not be staying with your initial institution and will be looking to find a knew home, you will have to ask for a 4-4 transfer. You should only really explore this option if you are breaking your commitment and have an offer from the school you intend to transfer to.
You will need to have the 16 core-courses fulfilled as required by the NCAA. Want to learn more about which courses you need to take and for how many years? Visit our resource vault!
Yes, like the NCAA the NAIA requires that incoming student-athletes be eligible. You can learn more by going to the NAIA Eligibility Center.
The NLI only pertains to NCAA DI and DII because of athletic scholarship offerings. Because NCAA DIII does not offer money for athletics, there is no signing period. However, if you would like to announce your commitment and have a ceremony at your High School you can do so with a document that is known as a “Celebratory Signing Form” and is to be signed after the prospect has been accepted to the institution. You can obtain the form from your future coach.