D-I Recruiting Rules

This is a Simple Breakdown of the NCAA’s New D-I Recruiting Rules

After a lot of discussions, the NCAA has voted to approve new D-I recruiting rules. These new rules will make the recruiting experience better for athletes by alleviating the pressure to commit early.

The NCAA hopes that new D-I recruiting rules will make the decision process better for student-athletes. Over the years, there’s been a tremendous increase in athletes committing before their freshman year of high school.

According to research conducted by the NCAA, over 40% of athletes who commit before their freshman year of high school have ‘no idea’ of what they want to major in at the time of their commitment.

What’s even more startling is that roughly 25% of athletes who verbally commit before the 10th grade don’t enroll where they verbally committed.

Almost 50% of the athletes who said they verbally committed on or before the 9th grade had the terms of their scholarship changed before they signed. Meaning the offer they verbally accepted as a freshman in high school is not what they received.

The new NCAA D-I recruiting rules that are in effect now will hopefully eliminate early recruiting.

Who do the new D-I recruiting rules affect?

Both D-I prospective athletes, their families, and D-I college coaches.

These new rules affect athletes because they change how and when recruiting can happen. The regulations affect D-I college coaches because they’re set for them to follow and abide by.

There are a few exceptions though. Football, men’s and women’s basketball have a different set of rules. Additionally, the NCAA has one new rule that’s only for D-I softball prospects and coaches.

What are the new D-I Recruiting rules?

2017-111: Official Visits — The first opportunity to take an official visit — September 1 of junior year for all sports other than basketball and football.

2017-112: Unofficial Visits — The first opportunity to take an unofficial visit — September 1 of junior year for all sports other than basketball and football.

2017-113: Sports camps and clinics — Recruiting conversations during an institutional camp or clinic are not permitted between an institution’s coach and a prospective student-athlete. For all sports other than basketball and football.

2018- 2: Softball off-campus contacts and telephone calls — September 1 of a prospective D-I softball player’s junior year of high school.

Official Visits

For every sport except football and basketball, official visits can start Sept. 1 of an athlete’s junior year of high school. Previously, student-athletes couldn’t take their five official visits until the first day of classes of their senior year.

This new D-I recruiting rule will allow athletes to use their five official visits over an extended period. The hope is by doing this athletes’ will make more mature decisions.

So, what about football and basketball?

These two sports adopted new recruiting rules within the last year or so, and they’ve been successful. Currently, football prospects can start taking official visits April 1 until the last Wednesday in June of their junior year.

Men’s basketball prospects can take official visits starting Jan. 1 of their junior year of high school. Women’s basketball prospects can take official visits the Thursday after the D-I Women’s Basketball Championship game of their junior year.

Ultimately, now all D-I prospects can start taking official visits to D-I colleges and universities during their junior year.

Insider tip: Since D-I athletes can take official visits earlier make sure they’re asking the right questions on their visits!

Unofficial Visits

You’re probably wondering, “how does the previous rule eliminate early recruiting?” It’s because the NCAA added additional rules that effect unofficial visits and recruiting conversations.

Athletic departments, which includes coaches and support staff, aren’t able to participate in recruits unofficial visit until Sept. 1 of their junior year in high school.

The unofficial visit rule mirrors when students start taking college visits, which is a good thing! The NCAA hopes this new rule will give D-I prospects the time to make more well-informed decisions.

Previously, athletes could take unofficial visits at any time and meet with the college’s coaching staff and the athletics department. With these new rules that won’t happen anymore. Athletes can still go on unofficial visits to see college campuses, but they won’t be able to meet with coaches or the athletics department until Sept. 1 of their junior year.

Recruiting Conversations at Sports Camps or Clinics

College coaches can’t hold recruiting conversations with student-athletes during an institutional camp, clinic or showcase. However, coaches can still evaluate athletes at those types of events. They just can’t have discussions about recruiting with athletes until Sept. 1 of their junior year.

DI Softball Only Recruiting Rule

All of these new rules will help eliminate early recruiting, but the NCAA with help from the NFCA wanted to take these new rules a step further for D-I softball.

From now on, college coaches can’t hold recruiting conversations with prospective student-athletes or their families until Sept. 1 of athletes’ junior year. This rule includes talks at camps, combines, tournaments, showcases, games, practices, etc.

Recruiting conversations include any contact between a prospective student-athlete and a coach where they discuss the athlete’s recruiting journey, performance, or the coach’s interest in that athlete.

Additionally, college coaches can’t send or return any emails, direct messages, texts, phone calls or letters that have to do with the athlete’s recruiting process.

College coaches can’t use coaches or scouts as a means to pass on messages. However, they can use them to show or express interest.

For example, when a college coach calls an NSR scout asking about an athlete, they can say, “yes, I have an interest in Susie Que.” But they can’t say, “tell Susie Que we are interested in her.”

How will this affect your recruiting?

In a good way!

These new D-I recruiting rules will make every athlete’s recruiting experience way more enjoyable. They will help them make a better well-informed decision in the end, which is the most important thing.

However, even though recruiting conversations have been pushed back that doesn’t mean you should wait until your junior year to start the recruiting process. People are speculating that for most coaches, when Sept. 1 comes around for juniors, offers will be made.

Our best advice, don’t wait to start the recruiting process. You still need to be evaluated and identified before recruiting conversations can begin. With the new D-I recruiting rules athletes will have even more opportunities for coaches to assess their abilities.

Here are a couple of things you should start doing well before your junior year: research and show interest.

Spend time figuring out what you want out of your college experience. Research schools and degree programs that interest you and create a list.

Once you’ve got a list that’s decent sized, do everything you can to be evaluated by those schools. Start sharing your NSR website with them, video, summer schedule, etc. Even if coaches can’t communicate with you, it doesn’t mean they won’t save them for later.

For NSR athletes, you can use your EVO website to see who’s looking at your profile. Then send them some additional information to show them you’re interested too.

Don’t wait until Sept. 1 of the junior year to start talking or showing interest to college coaches. As always if you need help, or have any questions about the new D-I recruiting rules, contact us today!

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