High school student-athletes take heed: If you want to gain an upper hand in the recruiting process, pay attention to what's recently happened with senior Robert Upshaw.
Upshaw, a highly ranked basketball recruit from California, announced his intention to attend Kansas State University back in November.
Then, last month, Kansas State coach Frank Martin decided to leave his job for the head coaching position at the University of South Carolina. Suddenly, Upshaw was out of a coach.
Typically, in this situation, an athlete would have already signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI), which effectively binds them to the school they've chosen, prohibiting all other schools from recruiting them further. If they transfer, they're required to sit out a year, barring an appeal to their school or the NCAA.
Upshaw, however, outfoxed the system. Instead of signing the NLI, Upshaw followed his mom's advice and only signed an athletic aid agreement, which guaranteed him a scholarship but didn't bind him to the school, according to the Fresno Bee.
"I'm really glad what my mom did," he told the paper. "I'm not stuck; I'm in a good situation."
Now, Upshaw has the opportunity to re-open his recruitment, despite not having nearly as much time to make a decision this time around.
"I'm a little concerned because I had three years to figure it out before," he said to the paper, "and now I have to do the right amount of research and develop new relationships with coaches in a matter of days."
Upshaw said he learned one lesson from the whole ordeal: Ask coaches how long they plan on staying at their current schools.
Sage advice for future recruits, perhaps. At the very least, recruits can use the example of Upshaw when only wanting to sign a financial aid agreement instead of an NLI with their future schools.
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