Scholarship Offers: Can a Coach Pull Your Offer After You Have Committed?

Legally, yes. Until you sign an NLI (National Letter of Intent), anything verbal is non-binding on either side. Verbal commitments from players are non-binding as well, and you have the right to change your mind before signing an NLI.

In any sport, there will come a time when coaches will begin pressuring you to commit. Some coaches will be up front with you and say, “We have one scholarship left for your position and you are one of two (or three or four or five) players we’d like to sign for that spot. We’d be happy with either of you, and whoever commits first will get the scholarship.” Depending on your talent level—some coaches will wait as long as they need for your decision and others may give you an ultimatum or deadline before moving on to the next-best player on their list. Some may hold a scholarship for you until you make your decision, others will not—it just depends on their interest level.

In some cases, you may not get a warning to make a decision if another player they have equal interest in decides to commit. Your recruitment can end at any time for reasons you can’t always control. Experienced coaches can usually be up front with you about how the process is going from their perspective and where you fit in.


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