National Letter of Intent (NLI)


The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution. With the agreement, a prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the institution full-time for one academic year (two semesters) and the institution agrees to provide athletics financial aid for at least one academic year (two semesters). If a student-athlete does not fulfill the NLI agreement, he or she has to serve one year in residence (full-time, two semesters) at the next NLI member institution and lose one season of competition in all sports. For more information regarding NLIs, visit the NCAA site.

Signing Dates for prospective student-athletes enrolling 2017-18:

Sport Initial Signing Date Final Signing Date
Basketball (Early Period) November 9, 2016 November 16, 2016
Basketball (Regular Period) April 12, 2017 May 17, 2017
Football (Midyear JC Transfer) December 14, 2016 January 15, 2017
Football (Regular Period) February 1, 2017 April 1, 2017
Soccer February 1, 2017 August 1, 2017
All Other Sports (Early Period) November 9, 2016 November 16, 2016
All Other Sports (Regular Period) April 12, 2017 August 1, 2017

Prospects Who May Sign a NLI:

In order to sign a NLI, a high school or preparatory school prospective student-athlete must first register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and complete the amateurism certification questionnaire.

The following prospective student-athletes may sign a NLI:

  • Prospective student-athletes who will be attending a four-year institution in the fall for the first time as full-time students.
  • 4-2-4 transfer student-athlete who is graduating from a two-year college.
  • In football only, midyear junior college transfers who must graduate at midyear.

Financial Aid Requirement

A NLI must be accompanied by a financial aid agreement from the institution.

Coaching Changes

A NLI is an agreement with an institution and not a particular coach. For example, if a coach leaves an institution after a prospective student-athlete signs a NLI, the prospective student-athlete remains bound the by the provisions of the NLI.

Dead Period Restrictions

The NLI initial signing date is surrounded by a dead period that starts at 12:01 AM on Monday prior to the initial date of signing and ends Thursday at midnight after the initial date of signing. No in-person on- or off-campus contacts are permitted during a dead period. In sports other than football, you may make unlimited telephone calls to prospects on the initial date for signing a NLI and the two days following the initial date of signing.

Recruiting Ban After Signing

Once a prospective student-athlete signs a valid NLI, other institutions may not call, write or have contact with the prospect or the prospect's parents.