I wanted to do a comparison of the difference between a verbal commitment and when you actually sign your NLI.
A verbal commitment is just a verbal agreement which is not legally binding, however, the NLI legally binds a student-athlete (SA) to attend that institution for one academic year in exchange for receiving athletic aid.
While a verbal commitment can be made once communication begins on June 15th prior to junior year, the SA can only sign the NLI when the signing period begins in November of their senior year.
A verbal commitment is an agreement between an SA and the current coach. The NLI is an agreement between the SA and the institution.
Once the NLI is signed all recruiting discussions with other coaches must end.
If an SA has made a verbal commitment and the coach leaves that institution, the SA is not required to attend that institution. Also, the institution is not required to uphold the verbal commitment with the SA. However, if an SA signs their NLI and the coach leaves, the SA is still legally obligated to attend that institution.
The scholarship terms of the verbal commitment can be adjusted before the SA signs their NLI, however the terms of the scholarship amount can not be changed once the student has signed their NLI (assuming they remain eligible to play and are admitted to the school)
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