A signing period is a time when a potential collegiate student-athlete can sign a National Letter of Intent and officially commit to a school.
A high school student-athlete can sign with an NAIA institution at any time. The most common signing time for NAIA athletes is during their senior year because coaches usually don’t know what kind of financial package they will be able to offer an athlete prior to their senior year.
The NCAA’s signing rules are considerably more complex. The NCAA breaks up signing dates by sport. They group certain sports together which can make it even more difficult to understand.
All sports offer an early signing period except for field hockey, soccer, track and field, cross country and men’s water polo. The regular signing period for the aforementioned sports occurs from February 1 to August 1, 2012. Football’s early signing period (only for junior college transfers) runs from December 21, 2011to January 15, 2012. The early signing period for all other sports besides those listed above usually occurs in mid-November. The regular signing period for football happens between February 1 and April 1, 2012. The regular period for all sports other sports is April 11, 2012.
There are no signing dates for NCAA Division III schools because they do not offer athletic scholarships.
Signing Dates for the NCAA
|Sport||Initial Signing Date||Final Signing Date|
|Basketball (Early Period)||Nov. 14, 2012||Nov. 21, 2012|
|All Other Sports Not Listed (Early Period)||Nov. 14, 2012||Nov. 21, 2012|
|Football (Midyear JC Transfer)||Dec. 19, 2012||Jan. 15, 2013|
|Football (Regular Period)||Feb. 6, 2013||April 1, 2013|
|Field Hockey, Soccer, Track and Field, Cross Country, Men’s Water Polo||Feb. 6, 2013||Aug. 1, 2013|
|Basketball (Regular Period)||April 17, 2013||Division I: May 15, 2013Division II: Aug. 1, 2013|
|All Other Sports Not Listed (Regular Period)||April 17, 2013||Aug. 1, 2013|