Alex Collins, a running back recruit out of Plantation, Florida, had his father sign his National Letter of Intent to play at Arkansas in 2013. The process took longer than most had expected and it might still not be done, according to USA Today.
On Thursday, a law firm announced that Andrea McDonald, Collins’ mom, has retained their services “to represent the family’s interests” as she thinks about where she wants her son to play football collegiately.
The Cochran Firm is representing McDonald. It is the firm founded by Johnnie Cochran. It is possible that the firm could try to invalidate the letter signed by Collins and his father.
“Our client’s initial intentions remain unchanged,” Jack Paris, McDonald’s attorney, said in a statement. “She is a loving and caring mother who only wants her son to choose a university without any outside and inappropriate influences. Ms. McDonald hopes all NCAA rules and regulations were followed during today’s signing.”
A legal guardian’s signature is required of a prospect under the age of 21 on a binding letter of intent. Collins could not sign with Arkansas after his mom took his paperwork and disappeared. She wants Collins to play closer to home, preferably with the University of Miami, where he previously verbally committed.
According to John Infante, the former assistant director of compliance at Colorado State University, “When kids sign they sign two documents at one time: the NLI (National Letter of Intent) and the scholarship agreement, which have to come together.”
“Basically, the scholarship agreement binds the school to the player. The NLI binds the player to the school. So as long as he has a valid scholarship agreement and applies to and is admitted to Arkansas, he’s going to get his scholarship to go to Arkansas.”
Should McDonald be able to invalidate her son’s National Letter of Intent to Arkansas, it would simply mean that Collins would not be bound by the letter anymore.
“It wouldn’t prevent him from attending Arkansas,” Infante said.