NCAA’s ‘National Signing Day’ takes steps to go paperless

February 9, 2014

Before the days of e-signatures and Portable Document Format files, high school seniors had to submit their National Letter of Intent through a fax machine. This year, the University of California Los Angeles decided to completely end the paper-based system, its Athletics Department explained. 

The National Letter of Intent program was NCAA's way of overseeing the communication between popular high school prospects and football programs. Susan peal of the NCAA told 24/7 Sports that it allowed e-mail, fax or scanned submissions for many years — the decision to go with these methods were up the colleges and universities.

"For years, we have not required a paper copy. If institutions wanted to use an electronic form to get it to the athlete and then to get it back from them, that is all perfectly fine," she added.

While college football programs had the option to do this long before 2014, UCLA was one of the first football programs to openly take a stance on changing its data processes. The days of the fax machine humming and confirmations over the phone may be on their way out even though they did serve their time as a major innovation, according to Bleacher Report.

"UCLA Football is all about forward thinking and using new technologies to improve efficiency and effectiveness," Pat Girardi, UCLA Football Director of Player of Personnel, said in the statement. "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.

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