While Plantation (Fla.) running back Alex Collins
was able to have his father sign his National Letter of Intent, allowing
the five-star recruit to join Arkansas' 2013 recruiting class, his
strange recruitment might have one more hurdle to overcome.
before Collins' announcement Thursday, a law firm announced that his
mother, Andrea McDonald, had retained its services "to represent the
family's interests" as she contemplated her son's athletic future.
representation, The Cochran Firm, was founded by attorney Johnnie
Cochran, who famously represented O.J. Simpson in his 1995 murder trial.
Theoretically, the firm could attempt to invalidate the letter of
intent Collins and his father submitted to Arkansas.
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 prospect younger than 21
cannot submit an official, binding letter of intent without a legal
guardian's signature. Collins was prevented from signing with Arkansas
on Wednesday after his mother confiscated his signing papers and
disappeared. His mother preferred that Collins stay closer to home and
choose Miami (Fla.), where he was once verbally committed.
McDonald's legal team could attempt to nullify Collins' letter of
intent, doing so wouldn't have an impact on the running back's
commitment, said John Infante, the former assistant director of
compliance at Colorado State University who runs the Bylaw Blog for
"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," Infante said.
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."
The school told USA TODAY
Sports that Collins and his father signed and sent over to Arkansas both
a letter of intent and a scholarship agreement.
Even if McDonald
successfully invalidated her son's National Letter of Intent, all that
would mean is that Collins would no longer be bound by the document. "It
wouldn't prevent him from attending Arkansas," Infante said.