It is no accident that universities routinely jettison assistants within a week of national signing day—Oklahoma alone fired three this year—or that coaches often leave for greener pastures right around that time. In 2012, New Mexico defensive coordinator Ron West left for Arizona State just after signing day; then, on Feb. 14 of this year, a week after his recruits were committed, he moved on again, to North Carolina. Were his recruits happy? Of course not. But because they'd signed the NLI, they were stuck.
You don't have to get stuck. Follow the lead of some of the nation's top basketball recruits by not signing the NLI, instead inking only the athletics-aid agreement. Then, when your team fires the assistant who reeled you in—or he walks away on his own—the school risks losing you, too.
It won't work everywhere. Alabama's Nick Saban will have plenty of prospects willing to sign anything. And Arizona's Rich Rodriguez is bound by a school rule to secure NLIs. But if enough of you refuse, other coaches will demand a more palatable letter. You, meanwhile, will be trailblazers: You'll have struck a blow for 18-year-olds against the multibillion-dollar business of college football.