Florida signee Noah Dickerson requests release from National Letter of Intent

By Adam Silverstein
May 13, 2015

Rather than keep the Florida Gators’ 2015 signing class from falling apart, new head coach Michael White is now tasked with ensuring he does not lose it completely.

Late Tuesday night, four-star power forward signee Noah Dickerson (Montverde, FL) confirmed that he has officially asked to be released from his National Letter of Intent with Florida and will seek to begin his college basketball career elsewhere.

ESPN.com’s Jeff Borzello was first to report Dickerson’s decision, which comes on the heels of four-star guard KeVaughn Allen (North Little Rock, AR) announcing he will make his intentions known on Thursday. Most expect Allen to ask out of his NLI as well, leaving the Gators without their two top-rated signees for the 2015 recruiting period.

Dickerson and Allen are ranked No. 70 and No. 60, respectively, on the 247Sports Composite. They are listed as No. 54 and No. 51, respectively, on the ESPN 100.

White said during his introductory press conference on Monday that he had reached out to all four UF signees and “met a couple in person.” A source close to the program tells OnlyGators.com that White has spoken to Allen at least twice – once in person.

The other two members of Florida’s class – four-star signees small forward Keith Stone (Deerfield Beach, FL) and center Kevarrius Hayes (Live Oak, FL) – are expected to remain committed to playing for the Gators.

According to Russ Wood of Rivals, White and Hayes met for two hours on Tuesday. The result of that conversation was Hayes being “happy” to remain committed to Florida. It is believed that Stone will take a visit to Gainesville, Florida, this weekend.

“I’m not into begging,” White admitted on Monday. “I think this place, to a certain extent, sells itself. I think all four of these guys obviously chose the University of Florida for a lot of the right reasons, really all the right reasons. Florida sells itself. This institution sells itself. But they wanted to play for Coach [Billy] Donovan. I understand them having second thoughts. I understand that. I appreciate that. I accept it.”

Florida, which once needed to find two scholarships just to sign its 2015 class, wound up one below the NCAA maximum of 13 after three players with eligibility remaining departed in the offseason (to go along with one midseason transfer and one graduate). The Gators are now in danger of being seriously short on scholarship players in White’s first season. With Dickerson gone and Allen expected to leave, Florida will have three open scholarships entering the 2015-16 campaign.

According to the NCAA, an NLI is a “contract between a prospective student-athlete and a school, not an agreement between individuals.” The Gators are under no obligation to release a player from his NLI if a coach leaves, unless it was promised during the recruiting process of said athlete. Nevertheless, White promised he would not be hold a player’s eligibility just to keep him in the class.

“If those guys want to be here, I’d love to have them. If not, we’d love to help them find the right place for them,” he said.


  1. SW FL Joe says:

    If you ain’t a Gator, you Gatorbait. We need guys that want to be here and play for Florida, not am ex coach.

  2. 1974Gator says:

    I wanted to say this when Coach White first made the comment, someone should be editing his scripts. Using the word “beg/begging” came across as a little condescending. The 4 star baby ducks who hear it probably thought that he meant he was the center of his world and that they should know that. It would have been much better to say something like “nothing changes, Gator basketball will soar with our current players and all the 2016 signees on board”. “We are going to dominate”
    I hope coach has other OMG prospects in his sights to sign in lieu of those we lose

    • Michael Jones says:

      Do you actually think that your proposed response is any less condescending that what Coach White said? It sounds like a wordier version of essentially the same message to me.

      • Dave K says:

        …not only ‘wordier’ as Michael Jones noted…but the term ‘4 star baby ducks’ that 1974Gator used was condescending AND insulting. jmho

        • 1974Gator says:

          Additional response to Michael Jones and Dave K – I meant that I hoped the coach would have initially said “Nothing will change about Gator basketball now that I’m here. Gator basketball will soar with our current players and all the 2016 signees on board”

          AND it’s my perogative to call them baby ducks. I feel it’s an accurate description of their yet to be determined adult decision making abilities. Everyone was a baby duck once.

      • 1974Gator says:

        Yes I do. It would focus on positive results expected when the ’16s are in-house. Duh

  3. Dan says:

    Wow. Suddenly next season’s roster isn’t looking so good.

  4. BifftheCat says:

    fla will be lucky to make the nit next year—they have little top talent to compete with the big dogs

    • Dave Massey says:

      And your point is? Florida didn’t make the NIT this year either.

      Personally, I don’t think that Florida should release these guys from their NLI’s. It’s not like Florida fired their coach or got caught breaking NCAA rules. You would have to be living under a very big rock in a black hole not to know that BD always said he would be interested in the NBA if the right opportunity came along. Especially in Allen’s case when he signed. ESPN was constantly reporting that he was in line for the Thunder position in mid-April. Unless BD told them they would be released if he left (which I seriously doubt Billy would have committed that violation), let them live up to their commitment. Why should they be allowed to damage the program without consequences? If they want to transfer, let them sit out a year. Florida could have possibly got other commitments if these guys weren’t pledged to the program. I know everybody will say it will hurt Florida in the future with recruits but I’m not buying that.

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