College commitment


Photo courtesy of Mason Sweeney.

Senior Mason Sweeney signs to play baseball at Parkland College on Nov. 11 in the athletic hallway.

Ben Rosen, Reporter

Early signing day for national letters of intent (NLI) for college sports other than football was on Nov. 11. Ten senior athletes representing four different IHSAA sanctioned sports and one club sport signed for eight different colleges or universities on that day. NLI signings for football can occur on Dec. 16 at the earliest, according to NLI website..

Only seniors are eligible to sign national letters of intent and to be able to verbally commit you have to be a junior. The earliest a verbal commitment can be made is Sept. 1 of junior year, a recent nationwide rule change made by the NCAA for Division 1 schools. Those commitments are considered verbal until the NLI signing day.

“When I was 12, I started going to college camps to just get a feel for what they were like,” senior Hannah Mays said. “Then, after I went to a couple, I went out and researched schools that had my major and were close to home.”

Mays said she had three schools that she had great interest in. According to Mays, the NCAA rule change about the commitment date slowed down her recruiting process, but she was still able to have college coaches watch her play softball.

“I would email coaches every week about my schedule for the weekend for my travel tournaments and they would come out and watch me play,” Mays said. “I went to every single camp I could to get myself out there and I continued to email all of them and have them come out and watch.”

Mays knew that Ball State University, a Mid-American Conference (MAC) school located in Muncie only 42 miles away from Fishers, was the place to commit to when it came time for visits and offers from schools. 

“Two of them offered me (a scholarship) but Ball State always felt like home,” Mays said. “I loved the school and campus, the teaching program is amazing so I knew it would be a perfect fit for me.”

Senior baseball player Mason Sweeney originally committed to the University of Akron, but then decommitted and ended up changing his commitment to Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois.

“The entire process was exciting, but at the same time stressful,” Sweeney said. “Changing my commitment was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, to leave a place I considered home was hard.”

Sweeney said that overall he is thankful for the opportunity to continue his playing career in college.

According to senior diver Morgan Casey, the whole process is very hard because of having to talk to multiple colleges and then make a decision on which school to commit to. 

“For me the decision was hard because IU has such an amazing program,” Casey said. 

Casey said that the process can be stressful and scary but that you will know when you have found that school that you want to go to.