Downs, Leininger Sign Letters of Intent

Posted on December 14, 2020 by

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Fleetwood students Olivia Downs and Sarah Leininger have signed their National Letters of Intent. 

Olivia will be attending Widener for swimming, and Sarah will be attending Millersville for Girls Volleyball. 

The NCAA manages the daily operations of the NLI program while the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) provides governance oversight of the program. It started in 1964 with seven conferences and eight independent institutions. The program now includes 657 Division I and Division II participating institutions. The NLI is a voluntary program for both institutions and student-athletes. No prospective student-athlete or parent is required to sign the NLI, and no institution is required to join the program. The NLI is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution. A prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the institution full-time for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters.)

“I have agreed to sign because Widener is such a great fit for me, and Widener has an amazing nursing program, and a great swim team’’ Downs said.

The institution agrees to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters.) The penalty for not fulfilling the NLI agreement: A student-athlete has to serve one year in residence (full-time, two semesters or three quarters) at the NLI member institution and lose one season of competition in all sports. An important provision of the NLI program is a recruiting prohibition applied after a prospective student-athlete signs the NLI. This prohibition requires member institutions to cease recruitment of a prospective student-athlete once an NLI is signed with another institution.

“I am a little nervous to attend college with the pandemic going on, but nobody knows what’s going to happen, so I’m just taking it one day at a time,’’ Downs said. 

Leininger signed hers at 3:30 on 18 November in the high school cafeteria along with Olivia.

“I have decided to continue swimming because I love the sport, and I can’t imagine giving it up,’’ Downs said.  “I’m very excited about college because it is a fresh start. I get to meet new people and join a new team.”

Downs has been swimming for nine years.

“I chose to swim because I have always loved being in the water, and I like the individual/ team aspect of the sport,’’ Downs said. “My parents inspire me to continue with this big decision because they always support what I choose to do, and they help me become the best version of me.”

Leininger could not be reached for comment.

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