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Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Time to Revise the National Letter of Intent?

Over on Sports Agent Blog, Marc Isenberg has an excellent piece that proposes a revision of the National Letter of Intent. Here's an excerpt:
Some suggest schools are providing more releases today than in the past, especially after a coaching change occurs. However, for players who want out of the NLI, they remain at the mercy of the school and the new coach. . . .

If I had the opportunity to negotiate on behalf of student-athletes, here’s what I would ask to change:
  • Get rid of the first-person singular. This is an agreement between two parties with obligations on both sides. It should not be called the National Letter of Intent, but something like the National Student-Athlete Agreement.
  • If a player wants to sign with a particular school, he can make his commitment subject to two coaches that he designates remaining on staff for his freshman year (e.g., the head coach and the coach most responsible for his recruitment).
  • If a player decides he or she wants to attend another institution due to a coaching change, he may do so without strings attached (e.g., a release stipulating that a player may not attend a specific school).
  • If a player is offered a scholarship, but is subsequently not admitted as a student, that program would lose a scholarship for one year. The program would also be required to donate the cost of that lost scholarship to the school’s general scholarship fund earmarked for truly deserving students. (Wouldn’t that make coaches think twice about offering a scholarship to an at-risk student?)
  • If a player who signed an NLI is found guilty of a felony crime, the athletic department and school make revoke the scholarship without penalty.
For the rest, click here.


Michael - I like many of your points but wonder why you seem eager to penalize so-called "at-risk students." Don't these kids deserve the coache's/school's support if having a tough go of it academically? Not sure how giving up on a 16 or 17 year old b/c he isnt a strong student furthers any of the NCAA's goals/values. And its not as if a kid who scores high in games but low on exams would even have the NBA as an option, what with the new draft rules for high schoolers.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 2/03/2009 10:54 PM  

I think that the fourth point raises an interesting potential conflict of interest for an admissions department. Wouldn't this provide an incentive to not admit a student-athlete who received a scholarship offer from the coach when the admissions department would like to penalize that coach for any number of reasons?

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/04/2009 2:07 PM  


Interesting point. Jim O'Brien "allegedly ran into this issue".

Blogger Tim Epstein -- 2/04/2009 7:48 PM  

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