Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When National Signing Day Goes Wrong

Every year high school senior football players look forward to the first Wednesday in February. On this special day, these athletes get to enjoy the fruits of their labor and sign a National Letter of Intent to play for the college of their choice. Over the years this day has become a major celebratory production with ESPN-U carry the signings live and the athletes pulling hats from under the table or switching hats at the last second to show where they have chosen to attend college. One young man even pulled a bulldog puppy from beneath the table before signing with the University of Georgia.

But for some, the excitement of National Signing Day takes on a terrible twist. In Miami, as a young man was about to sign his letter of intent with the University of Arkansas, his mother grabbed the paperwork and took off with it. She wanted him to sign with the University of Miami so that her son would be close to home. A day later his father stepped in and allowed his son to sign the letter of intent to play at Arkansas.

A similar story happened in New Orleans. Again, an athlete was set to sign with Texas Tech University, but his mother wanted him to stay home and sign with Tulane University. This story is still on going. The mother recently stated that the family would have the situation resolved after the New Orleans Mardi Gras break, and that she was leaning towards letting him make the decision.

Signing a National Letter of Intent to play collegiate football should be the happiest day in life of these young men, but because their mothers are not ready to let their babies leave home their memories of National Signing Day will be forever tarnished.

Edward Williams - New Orleans Warren Easton High


  1. Signing day should be a fun and exciting day in any new upcoming athlete but parents are not always ready to let go and let their children start making their own decisions based on what they want. I wonder how many cases there are when parents ruin a signing day for an athlete. Also I wonder how many athletes feel like they had to sign where they did sign because of parents who want them to go to a certain school. In my opinion a lot of times parents just don’t want to have to come to the realization that their babies are growing up and there comes a time when their children have to start making decisions for them and start living on their own.

    Does this often happen on the signing day in football? How many stories like this are reported a year? Is there a certain website where stories like this are reported?

  2. I'm sure this happens more than we know, but this is the first time that I have heard about it to this extreme. I have never heard of a parent refusing to sign a letter of intent on signing day, I would think parents would want to work this out in private before National Signing Day.

  3. I have a family member who just signed to play football with Air Force. The signing was attended by 20+ family members and friends followed by a big luncheon. Yes, Signing Day has become a huge production as parents celebrate the accomplishments of their child. But with the skyrocketing cost of a four-year college degree (a $60,000+ price tag), it is easy to understand the relief that parents must feel as their family budgets are liberated. National Signing Day is a big deal so celebrate it in style!!!