What Recruits Can Learn From Robert Upshaw’s Scholarship Situation

By Bryan Toporek — April 13, 2012 1 min read
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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 .

A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.