We receive a lot of calls and emails from parents of student-athletes asking questions about NCAA scholarships and financial aid agreements. There is no doubt about this, the calculations of sports scholarships can be difficult to understand, because of the different types of scholarships used and some of the terminology used. A school that thought it was going to have the star athlete may end up empty-handed if it signs a financial aid contract at another location. The financial agreement also gives the athlete the opportunity to see what might open up. The financial agreement binds the athlete to absolutely nothing and can be signed at any time. However, the school remains required to maintain its final agreement if the athlete decides to participate. An athlete can still only sign a national memorandum of understanding. If he wanted to and had the offers, the athlete could sign an unlimited number of financial aid agreements and then always choose which school he wanted to go to. Signing a grant contract does not end the process of recruiting an athlete.
That is what the signing of a national Memorandum of Understanding does. If an excellent basketball goalie points his heart to Kentucky, but Kentucky didn`t offer a scholarship at first, he couldn`t sign a letter of national intent to go. Well, if the Kentucky rookie gets down on his knees in a pick-up game or in his baseball year, Kentucky could call. In the meantime, Point Guard could have already signed financial agreements with Duke, North Carolina, Oregon and Syracuse… And leave them all. For now, it is only elite athletes, such as former UNLV basketball player and Gorman High School product Stephen Zimmerman, who can opt out of the declaration of intent and opt for the financial aid agreement. Zimmerman was in high demand before choosing UNLV. The MEMORANDUM of understanding binds the school and the athlete to this agreement for one year, Toliver said. And for some sports, the period during which a letter of intent can be signed is quite short.
Coaches also face a penalty if they sign too many children, so they can`t exactly swing an unlimited number of financial assistance agreements for athletes. Distribution, which essentially offers more scholarships than the NCAA maximum, is an offence.