New NCAA Recruiting Contact Rules

New NCAA Recruiting Contact Rules

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.

Previous Rules
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:

  • June 15 after sophomore year: College coaches can make and receive phone calls and send and receive electronic correspondence, including text messages, instant
    messages, direct messages, and e-mails, as well as all recruiting materials.
  • August 1 before the junior year: Prospects can begin taking unofficial and official college visits.
  • August 1 before the junior year: Coaches can conduct off-campus contacts with athletes.

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.

Campus Visits
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.

Recruiting Impact
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:

  • Commit to high academic performance in the classroom. Take the ACT/SAT early.
  • Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. You need this certificate before you take an official visit to a D1 or D2 school
  • Be an educated consumer. Understanding the recruiting rules and your part of the recruiting process is invaluable.
  • Develop your initial college list and explore the schools online.

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:

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