By Tom Kovic
Beginning May 1, 2019, the NCAA adopted new recruiting contact rules. This decision intends to restrain early recruiting of prospective student-athletes. The main thrust of the latest recruiting legislation is directed at the timing of communication with college coaches.
Before the newly implemented contact rules, Division 1 college coaches were not permitted to initiate contact with prospects until September 1 at the beginning of the junior year in high school.
However, under the previous recruiting rules, prospects, parents and club coaches were permitted to initiate contact with the college coaches (e-mail, phone communication, on campus meetings) with rare exception.
This is no longer allowed. Until June 15 after your sophomore year of high school, you cannot engage in any communication with a DI coach outside of their campus.
Below is a snapshot of the new Division 1 contact rules for gymnastics:
Also, prospects are permitted to receive recruiting materials from college coaches (questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA
educational materials published by the NCAA) before June 15 after the sophomore year.
Any visit to a college campus that is financed by the school or any visit paid for by the family that includes a recruiting conversation with the coaching staff is not permitted until August 1 before the junior year of high school. You can still visit a college campus before August 1 of junior year, but you cannot meet with the college coach.
The new NCAA contact rules give prospects and families additional time to plan, organize and execute the college recruiting process.
At the same time, college coaches will now be making verbal offers and scholarship commitments in a tighter timeline. The process will, therefore, move at a robust clip beginning June 15 after the sophomore year.
Below are proactive suggestions to take during the freshman and sophomore year in high school:
You are at the crossroads of a significant life decision and identifying your ideal college match. Embracing a strong understanding of NCAA rules, especially as they pertain to contact timelines with college coaches is vital. Be proactive and begin early. You want to hit the ground running on June 15!
Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and Founder/Principal of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he advises prospects and families on college recruiting. For further information visit: www.victoryrecruiting.com.