High school golfers from across the country have goals of competing at the college level. There are over 222,000 high school golfers in the U.S. and approximately 7% go onto play at the varsity level in college. The term, “verbally committed” is tossed around a lot, but what exactly does it mean?
Technically speaking, you can verbally commit to a college or university at any time providing the coach has made you an offer. Verbal commitments are in place to allow an athlete to commit to a school before they are able to sign a National Letter of Intent or (NLI). A National Letter of Intent is a legally binding contract binding you to an academic institution for at least 1 year.
It’s best to look at all of your options and discuss the choice with your family before verbally committing to a school. When a coach extends an offer, it’s best to thank them and ask for a timeline that you need to follow to provide them a decision.
Verbal agreements are non-binding verbal contracts. What this means is that you the athlete or the coach can cancel the verbal agreement at any time. Is this common? No. However, situations such as coaching changes can present a unique situation where the new coach is under no obligation to carry out the previous coach’s verbal commits.
Keep in mind that you should only verbally commit to a school if you are 100% certain that is the school for you. Ensure you understand the offer and have any outstanding questions answered before the verbal commitment.
National Letter of Intenet
The National Letter of Intenet program or (NLI) is a binding agreement between a student-athlete and academic institution (college) for one academic year. A student-athlete cannot sign a NLI until their senior year, thus the reasoning of having verbal commitments prior to this time.
The only time where you can “officially” commit to a college or university is after you sign your NLI and scholarship offer.
How to Verbally Commit
There are basically three ways that you can verbally commit to a college:
- On a phone call with a college coach
- During a campus visit
- Through written form in a note or letter
You do not need to use special words or anything specific to accept a coach’s verbal offer – simply saying “yes” is acceptable. Many times during phone calls or a campus visit, coaches will extend the verbal offer to you. Don’t feel pressured to make a decision right then, but following up in a note or email with writing that you accept is a good idea.
Hopefully, some of these tips will help you navigate the world of college commitments and making the best decision for your college years!