The National Letter of Intent Twitter account has announced an extension of the spring signing periods for Division I football and basketball programs.
— Letter of Intent (@NLIinsider) January 15, 2021
Previously, the spring (regular) signing period for Division I football was set for Feb. 3 – Apr. 1, while basketball was to run from Apr. 14 – May 19.
The extensions were made to help address concerns with the effects of COVID-19 on college programs and the recruiting process, as well as to provide prospective student-athletes more time in which to make their decisions.
Current high school seniors have been unable to make in-person visits to schools since last spring, and that ban currently extends through April 15 of this year.
Those high school and junior college athletes have also been affected by the ruling that made the 2020-21 season one that did not count against the eligibility clocks of exisiting college athletes. That decision means a percentage of seniors will return for an extra year in 2021, which in turn affected the number of scholarships that were offered, and spaces that were open at colleges for the 2021-22 season.
The hope is that the extended dates will provide more time to sort out these issues.
About the NLI: The NCAA manages the daily operations of the NLI program while the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) provides governance oversight of the program. Started in 1964 with seven conferences and eight independent institutions, the program now includes 657 Division I and Division II participating institutions.