5 Star Recruit Tyler Dorsey Committed to Ducks but Won’t Sign LOI

Adam Kruse FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

5-Star Oregon basketball commit Tyler Dorsey continued a recent trend of elite high school athletes not signing Letters of Intent (LOI). Dorsey told The Oregonian he is 100% committed to Oregon but will not be signing a LOI.

The Oregonian’s Andrew Nemec reported the precedent as recently as February’s National Signing Day for football recruits.

ESPN four-star linebacker Roquan Smith committed to UCLA on signing day, but decided not to sign his Letter of Intent. Only hours later rumors began to surface that Bruins defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich would be stepping down from his position to accept the linebacker coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons. A few days later, those rumors proved true. The following week Smith, unencumbered by a letter of intent, committed to – but also decided not to sign binding paperwork for – Georgia.”

 This recent trend of athletes not signing LOIs is happening in order to keep options open to the player.
 ”Me and my family decided we are not going to sign the National Letter of Intent, but it’s guaranteed we’re going to Oregon,” Dorsey said. “We just decided as a family – came together – and we’re not going to do that.”
“Signing that means you can’t get out of it if anything bad happens,” he said.
According to Samia Dorsey, Tyler’s mother, “It was a family decision, we just decided it’d be best, just in case a coach leaves, he has the opportunity to re-evaluate that decision, so he’s not stuck. He loves the school, but he built a relationship with (coaches) Altman and Stubblefield, so if they would leave, you don’t know who’s coming in… it gives you an option.”
There is a risk to the players who don’t sign LOI. The school, after an NLI is signed and processed, is required to provide an athletics scholarship for the athlete for a minimum of one year, provided the student meets the academic requirements to attend the school and the school is able to honor the scholarship without going over scholarship maximums. The specifics of the scholarship vary by sport and division, but for D-1 football that is a full scholarship. Without the LOI, the school could, potentially sign other players. This is why this option to accept a scholarship but not sign an LOI is a risk elite players like Smith and Dorsey are willing to take, but most incoming recruits are not.
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