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National Letter of Intent Rule Changes Coming in 2024-25

According to a report from The Athletic, some major changes are coming to the National Letter of Intent (NLI) program in college athletics, and they are coming soon.

For years, high school prospects have signed their NLI at the end of each recruiting cycle, officially tying them to their school of choice.

Typically, there have been penalties for breaking an NLI, without first gaining a release from the institution that the athlete signed with, but that appears to be changing.


The Collegiate Commissioners Association, which has overseen NLI for nearly 60 years, is set to implement several changes that will go into affect during the 2024-25 recruiting cycle.

Here are the reported changes, according to The Athletic:

  • NLI penalty will no longer apply if NLI signee requests a release because of a head coaching change
  • NLI penalty won’t apply if athlete leaves after one academic semester/quarter.
  • Four-year transfers will also be able to sign an NLI after entering the portal. They don’t have to do this, but signing an NLI would trigger a recruiting ban.

Prospects will still receive an NLI penalty if they request their release outside of the circumstances listed above and a release isn’t granted by the school with which they signed. In that case, athletes would have to sit out of one year of competition and complete one year of residency at their new school.

The new changes are expected to better align with how the NCAA now deals with the transfer portal. In 2021, new changes to the transfer portal rules allowed for players to transfer once without seeking a waiver for immediate eligibility. Plus, athletes can now seek a waiver for immediate eligibility at a new school after a coaching change, no matter how many times they’ve transferred.

In all, these are fantastic implementations for college athletes that were well past due, and overall a great new policy change for everyone involved.

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