With the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ever changing in their efforts to interface the future players with vested coaches, keeping up with the rules of recruiting can be challenging and exhausting. One faux pas to never be made is infringing on the NCAA rules. These offenses are taken very seriously, especially when the athlete is in the wrong. There are slightly altered regulations on the recruiting front for the different divisions. The main focus of this article, however, will be on Division I and Division II with emphasis on high school seniors.
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Firstly, every sport has a time period when recruiting or talking to a coach about recruitment is acceptable. In the NCAA’s regulations, there are three different periods involved in recruiting. There is the “contact period” in which NCAA definition states that during this time, a college coach may have in-person contact with you and/or your parents on or off the college's campus. The coach may also watch you play or visit your high school. You and your parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and contact you by telephone during this period. Next, there is the “quiet period” defined by the NCAA as a time in which the college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents off the college's campus. The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school during this period, but he may write or contact you or your parents by telephone. You and your parents may visit a college campus during this time. Lastly, there is the “dead period” in which the college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents at any time, but he may still write or contact you or your parents by telephone during this time. These three periods are very vital in the recruiting process and very accessible to find on the NCAA’s website.
While being contacted, you must be sure the rules are not being broken from the NCAA or the university’s standpoint because this can cause you to lose your chance as a prospect. Also, there is a bylaw that entails unlimited phone calls from a coach if you have done one of two things: signed a national letter of intent to that school or a financial deposit has been made to that institution. These motions authorize unlimited access from the coach of that institution for the sport you are being recruited for.
Not only are the rules always changing but the different sports have different rules. Soccer and baseball have unlimited phone call capabilities during a contact period. However, outside of a contact period for baseball, coaches are allowed to extend only one phone call per week. On the other hand, hockey is a little stricter; a coach can only make one call a month after the fifteenth of June of the sophomore year is complete. Keeping up with all the do’s and do not’s of the college recruiting realm is a little difficult in practice, but with this little blip of information hopefully your recruiting process and staying within the NCAA guidelines are smooth inclinations.