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UCLA will offer the option for recruits to sign their National Letters of Intent electronically

Sam Cooper
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UCLA will give its recruits the option to sign their NLIs electronically (USA Today Sports)

One school is modernizing one of the key parts of national signing day: the use of the fax machine to send the National Letter of Intent. Beginning at 6 a.m. on signing day, coaches ordinarily begin receiving faxed National Letters of Intent from prospects across the country, but UCLA will allow its recruits to sign electronically.

UCLA will be one of the first universities to allow its signees to sign via electronic signature through the SignNow application. According to a release from the university, SignNow allows users to sign and fill out documents – like a National Letter of Intent (NLI) – using a computer or mobile device.

UCLA will email recruits all of the necessary NLI and scholarship contracts and they will be available to sign Wednesday morning. Signatures can be signed “by using a mouse or by hand on the screen of a mobile device.”

Per NCAA rules, the forms will be filled out by both the recruit and a parent, then a final copy is sent to both the family and the university via email. This eliminates “the process of receiving and verifying the letter.”

“Once the NCAA approved electronic signatures for NLIs, it was an east decision to partner with SignNow on this project,” said UCLA associate athletic director for compliance Matt Elliott. “The technology provides accurate time stamps and ensures that we receive the signed contracts as soon as they are executed.”

To me, there’s still something cool about the excitement the coaches must feel when those faxes start rolling in. The email might be a little anti-climactic, but it was only a matter of time before something like this was introduced.

“UCLA Football is all about forward thinking and using new technologies to improve efficiency and effectiveness,” UCLA Football director of player personnel Pat Girardi said. “Signing a National Letter of Intent electronically will be cutting-edge, and we want this year’s recruits to be able to say they are the first to ever do such a thing.”

We'll have to wait another year to see if other schools follow UCLA's lead.

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