National Signing Day

by Matt Reimels

For most people living in the US, November 9th meant the revealing of their country’s next President. However, for many high school students, November 9th meant committing to their top schools for athletics. Last week, future student collegiate athletes signed their national letters of intent. All across the US, colleges received commitments from many of their new athletic recruits and gave out much of their scholarship money.

The national letter of intent binds you to the school you are signing on to play a specific sport. When a student signs the NLI, by law they must participate in the sport they signed up for at the school they committed to. If a student signs onto a school but later decides that they won’t attend that college, then that student is not allowed to participate in any varsity sports at another school for their whole first year there.

This agreement benefits the athlete as much as it does the school. In addition to being able to participate in collegiate level athletics, all athletes who sign the NLI  receive an athletic scholarship. NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 schools are the only colleges that send out NLIs because they are the only ones permitted to give out scholarship money for athletics. However, many Division 3 athletes verbally commit to their colleges and are considered official recruits nonetheless.

Tyler LaFreniere, a senior at NAHS, is attending Western New England University. It is a Division 3 school; however, LaFreniere has been in contact with the coach for over a year and has verbally committed to Western New England University. He said, “even though I am not getting an athletic scholarship to go here, I love the school and the coach and I have been in contact [with them] for a while.”

At Bishop Feehan High School, a national signing day was held where all of the student athletes who planned on playing a varsity sport in college received their NLIs and committed that day. November 9th was the earliest national signing day for most sports. However, football athletes are to receive their NLIs in February.

Julia DaCosta, a senior at Bishop Feehan High School, committed to Villanova for softball and said, “I am so blessed to have this opportunity. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, friends and coaches.”

North Attleboro High School did not host a national signing day, however all North Attleboro athletes planning to commit to play collegiate sport received their NLIs on November 7th and sent them back to their prospective colleges between November 9th to the 16th.

Bobby Mylod, a senior at North Attleboro High School, signed an NLI to Bentley University for football and stated, “I am so happy and excited about playing college ball, it feels so good to already know where I am going and to not worry about it anymore.”

If a student missed their opportunity this time to commit to their top school, they will have another chance later in the year. The next day for colleges to spend the rest of their scholarship money on student athletes is April 12th.

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