The February letter of intent signing day was this past Wednesday, and many eyes are turned towards the nation’s top high school seniors. Colleges will soon have an idea of how their recruiting classes will be next year, but what is the best way to act when calling a college coach?

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In the days of social media and e-mail, the phone call is fast becoming a lost art. Mastering the call to the coach is key when being recruited.

The NCAA has strict limits on phone calls, but we will address those in a moment. First, let’s talk about what to do on the phone:
  1. Keep it short and sweet. Remember, college coaches, no matter the sport, are extremely busy. They run practices, make their own phone calls, make game plans, and sometimes even teach a class or two, especially at a smaller college.
  2. It may seem obvious, but make sure you are dialing the correct number. If you’re calling the coach’s office, chances are someone else on the college campus may have a very similar phone number. If you want Coach Johnson, but you get Dr. Smith in the history department, double check the number you dialed with the one listed on the school’s website.
  3. Be polite. Don’t say “yea” or “um” or “uh”. Say “yes/no, sir/ma’am” or “yes/no, Coach ____“. Make sure you have silence in the room. Coaches generally don’t want to hear your music or your friends.
  4. Make sure you have a good connection. Calling from a land line eliminates any chance of a dropped call on your end.
  5. Say thank you when it’s over. Again, coaches are busy. And they don’t have to answer when it rings.
  6. Call during business hours between 9-5, don’t interrupt a Coach during family dinner or you may receive an unwanted lecture on etiquette.
The NCAA rules vary from sport to sport, but generally speaking, here are some things to keep in mind. If you’re getting recruited or you are a parent of a recruit, you will be getting phone calls from colleges. Here is a summary of a few of these very complex rules from the NCAA scholarship guidelines:
  • From your sophomore year until September 1 of your junior year, coaches aren’t allowed to call you. At all. You may call them at your own expense.
  • When you’re a junior, you can call a coach as often as you want after July 1. The coach may also call you up once a week.
  • When you’re a senior, the coach may call up to once a week.
If the coach calls more than this, you should contact the NCAA. The tips and guidelines we’ve shared are generalities. Any university athletic director can provide a more detailed rules guideline and one for the recruit’s particular sport, so while you may use these tips and tricks as a baseline don’t forget to check with the university of interest’s particular set of rules before contacting the Coach.