National Signing Day History
National Signing Day marks the start of the college football signing season. From this day forward, high school football players can sign a National Letter of Intent to play football for a university in the National College Athletic Association (NCAA). The National Letter of Intent is a binding agreement between a potential student-athlete and a NLI member institution. Once signed, the agreement requires the athlete to attend and represent the institution for at least two semesters or three quarters, and in return, the institution must provide athletic financial aid for the same duration. National Signing Day marks the start of many football players' careers as they transition into more professional setting.
National Signing Day was established in 1981 by the College Football Association in an effort to eliminate separate conference signing dates and force student-athletes to commit to only one NCAA institution. Prior to 1981, NCAA football conferences required recruits to sign separate letters of intent since conference letters only restricted signing within the conference itself. National Signing Day is now held on the third Wednesday of February annually.
National Signing Day Facts & Quotes
- Up until 2014, players for the NCAA were not paid. In August 2014, the NCAA began to allow student-athletes to receive full scholarships and additional financial supplements between $2,000-4,000 to support daily expenses and the cost of living.
- Different NCAA sports have different signing days where high school athletes from that sport can commit to the university of their choice.
- Prior to signing a letter of intent, prospective students usually go on a recruiting trip paid for by the university in question. The trip serves to show the recruit a good time and attempt to convince him/her to commit to studies there.
- According to the NCAA, of its 1,100 members, only 20 of them actually make more money than they spend on sports each year.
Once again we feel that we have another fine class. Most notably we feel that we're continuing to add to our overall team speed and our athleticism on our football team. We're successful in signing 24 players, or probably more aptly put we have 24 new players in our program. - Tracy Claeys - Minnesota Golden Gophers Head Football Coach
National Signing Day Top Events and Things to Do
- Get out to your local park and play a game of football with your family and friends to celebrate all those who are committing to playing in NCAA football today.
- Watch the day's events of your favorite conference live. Most are aired live across networks such as ESPN and they can often be found online.
- Review some of the student-athlete rules and criteria in order to gain a better understanding of the players' responsibilities and duties in addition to playing ball. Some basic requirements include:
1) earn at least a 2.3 GPA in core courses
2) earn at least 9 credits per semester
3) adhere to amateurism requirements (limiting agent involvement, prize money, salaries and contracts with professional teams)
- Watch a movie about NCAA Football. Our favorites are Friday Night Lights(2004), The Blind Side (2009), Rudy (1993) and The Express (2008).
- Support a local high school football team. Your financial and time donations can mean the chance to get a scholarship for a high school student to pursue university studies.