8 Important NCAA rules


8 rules on NCAA communication

  • There are rules covering just about every action that happens in the recruiting process

  • One area that has many athletes and families confused is regarding the rules for communicating with college coaches.

  • The information below helps you understand the basics about communicating with coaches and ensuring you stay in compliance.

The Rules

  • Meet with a coach off campus

    Off campus contact refers to communication with the coach off of their university campus. You can only communicate with a coach off campus your senior year and only three times.

  • Receive letters from colleges

    You can receive non-recruiting specific material starting in high school. You can’t receive recruiting specific letters until September 1st of your Junior year. However, if you play basketball or men’s ice hockey, you can receive recruiting specific material starting June 15th after your sophomore year

  • Speak with coaches on the phone

    At any point, you can call a coach and they can pick up and talk with you. Coaches can begin actively calling you starting July 1st after your Junior year. Only football can call earlier (once between April 15 –May 31) and basketball and hockey (starting June 15th).

  • Frequency of speaking with a coach

    The NCAA limits coaches on how many times they can start contact, but you are free to call and email coaches as much as you would like once contact periods are open.

  • Visit a coach on his campus

    You may make an unofficial visit (meaning you cover the cost of the trip) and can meet with and coach and their staff. You can go on an official visit starting the first day of your senior year. There are only five official visits to each school.

  • Receive emails from coaches

    Coaches can begin emailing you at the same time, they may send you recruiting-specific material. You are free to email coaches before letting them know where you will play and sending them updated results.

  • Use Social Media to contact coaches

    Coaches cannot use social media to communicate with athletes. However, that doesn’t mean you should friend and follow your prospective colleges. These are a great way to learn about a team, but don’t expect a college coach to be commenting on your status update.

  • Accept a scholarship

    You can receive and accept a verbal scholarship at any point during the recruiting process, but this doesn’t grantee you a scholarship. You can sign an official scholarship offer during the early signing period (November 9th–16th). The regular signing period starts February 1st for Football, Field Hockey, Soccer, Track, Cross Country and Men’s Water Polo. All other sports, the signing period, starts April 11th.

Next up:

Stage 5 – The University application process

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