The NLI sure seems like a one-sided agreement. The recruit is locked-in regardless of what happens with coaching staff or playing time. If he wants to transfer and play elsewhere he has to hope the AD will grant him a release. Last signing day there was 4 star recruit named Roquan Smith that accepted Athletic Grant-in-Aid (scholarship) at Georgia without having to sign the NLI. An unnamed GA coach supposedly said, ",,,if my son is good enough and is in the same position as Roquan, I’m not going to let him sign an NLI. I understand exactly why you’re doing this.’
I'm guessing not many athletes have that kind of leverage. But I think a smart coach could succeed by backing away from the NLI requirement. If one coach is offering a scholarship in exchange for signing the NLI, with all its limits and restrictions – and another is saying, ‘we want you to play here, we’re going to give you a scholarship and we’re going to treat you like a human being – if you don’t like it, you’re free to go”. Who would you rather have your kid play for?