In every other endeavor of life, when you agree to terms in a contract, you sign a piece of paper and the deal is done. Not so with the NCAA, which I am beginning to believe is totally dysfunctional on many levels. With the NCAA, if you agree to sign a National Letter of Intent, the commitment is really no commitment at all. It's a promise to make a commitment at some time in the future. What does this accomplish?
With far more athletes than I imagined, this means they have one college in the bag and can begin their search in earnest. It also means, for some coaches at elite programs (Saban), that they have a kid on the ropes and can treat him however they want.
I propose the NLOI process be changed so that it looks like a sales contract to buy a car or house. When a kid announces his decision to accept an offer, have him, his parents, & the coach sign the NLOI immediately. That binds him & the school, but with a 3-day opt out period. During that time either party can rescind the deal with prejudice.
This would stop the commitment flipping completely and would also stop the over-committing and gray shirting. We are teaching these kids that commitments mean nothing if you can find what you think is a better deal. Where has honor gone?