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November 08, 2010



So are parents aware or given insight about the NLI? Shouldn't they be giving a handbook or a memo like this that explains everything.. would it be in the athletes best interest to have a lawyer present when signing the NLI?

Marc Isenberg

Here is a "Quick Reference Guide to the NLI" from the NLI's official site.

It provides matter-of-fact info and kinda encourages athletes to sign, pointing out: "Over 36,000 prospective student‐athletes sign NLIs to attend NCAA Division I or II institutions. Less than 2 percent request a release."

It also explains the draconian penalty when an athlete does not honor the NLI:
"Basic Penalty for not fulfilling the NLI agreement: Serve one year in residence (full‐time two semesters or three quarters) at the next NLI member institution and lose one season of
competition in all sports."

Regarding your question whether a lawyer should be present when it is signed...Unfortunately, the NLI is a "take it or leave it" deal. Athletes and families should absolutely consult a lawyer or other when they are considering whether makes sense to sign agreement.


It seems like this is a place where High Schools can be of some help. The HS AD should be able to understand and help his school's athletes understand the recruiting business. After all, how many schools have more than 20 students signing NLIs every year?

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