Signing NLI and college admission not the same

11 03 2009

We touched on this last time, now here’s a more detailed explanation. It’s one thing that everyone should know, regardless of where they are in the recruiting process. However, those who find themselves deep in the process should pay particular attention. Here it is…

Just because you are offered a scholarship, make your verbal commitment, and sign a National Letter of Intent DOES NOT mean that you are admitted to that school. Understand that the NCAA and the college you sign with are two separate entities that really, have nothing to do with the other especially when it comes to college admissions.

In order to be a “qualifier” and thus be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center to practice and play as a freshman, you need to have graduated with the appropriate number of core courses (academic courses, so not jazz band or ceramics) on the appropriate time schedule and have a corresponding test score (SAT/ACT) and GPA as dictated by the sliding scale (Division I only). Understand that these are the rules that govern NCAA schools and that the rules differ for NAIA.

To be officially admitted to a college as a student-athlete you have to first meet their admissions requirements. This means that yes, you still have to complete an application, graduate, and meet any criteria set forth by that school’s admissions office. In essence, while the coaches at the school may help guide you through this process, you are just like any other applicant, athlete or not.

Again, we’ll go into detail later, but in the meantime you should know that you setting foot onto a college campus as a freshman ready to play depends on two distinct processes, the NCAA Eligibility Center and the individual school’s admissions standards. Completion of one does not guarantee completion of the other. Deal with each separately and you’ll be fine.

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