Every athlete aspiring to play at the college level dreams of the moment they meet the head coach and get offered an athletic scholarship. But when can this moment happen? The NCAA has specific guidelines regarding recruiting. We’ve all heard of recruiting violations occurring resulting in sanctions on both the athlete and college program. To answer the question, this moment most often happens during the recruiting contact period.
College recruiting regulations can be hard to figure out without someone to help direct you through the process. That’s a big part of my responsibility to you. Sometimes it helps to define and break down these rules so they are easier to understand. One rule is the contact period rule.
By definition provided by the NCAA Guide for College-Bound Student Athletes, a for prospective collegiate student-athletes contact period is the time frame where, “a college coach may have in-person contact with an prospective student-athletes and/or his or her parents on or off the college’s campus. The coach may also watch prospective student-athletes play or visit their high school. Athletes and parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and telephone prospective student athletes during this period.”*
Breakdown of the rule
So what does that mean? Here’s the breakdown in simple terms.
- Basically, the contact period is the only recruiting period where a college coach can both evaluate and communicate with a player.
- This is important to know because other recruiting periods have greater contact restrictions.
- Prospective Student Athletes (PSA’s) and college coaches can talk to one another on or off campus.
- Specifically Junior and Seniors
- Coaches can evaluate players by watching games or practices.
- This includes underclassmen as well. Its a great opportunity to catch a coaches eye!
- Contact with PSA can be made through phone, letter, email, text, and social media.
- Underclassmen will only receive school info as noted in my previous blog.
- PSA’s can take unofficial and official college visits during the contact period
- Mostly, upperclassmen take advantage of the allotted visits.
A few other important notes. Contact periods are the least restricted of of the four recruiting periods. For many juniors and senior athletes this is also time where scholarship are offered, agreements are drawn up and athletes make commitments to colleges. So, this goes to show how important it is to start the recruiting process no later than Sophomore year!
Here are a sports in the midst of, or upcoming, contact periods.
- Softball – January 2 through July 31, 2015
- Baseball– March 1 through July 31, 2015
- Football – November 30, 2014, through March 9, 2015
- Basketball– November 14, 2014 through March 31, 2015
Finally, student-athletes and parents do your part to create that contact moment happen by making sure your Prepstar profile is up to date. Be sure that all contact numbers, email addresses and home addresses are current. Highlight film or skills videos should also be loaded on the site…remember multiple films can be uploaded on the Prepstar profile page. Finally, do not neglect academic information. Be sure that your most recent GPA, test scores (ACT, SAT) recorded and PDF copies of important documents are included in your academic section. Contact me immediately if you need help!
All this is to insure that the coaches evaluating your son/daughter have all the necessary information to make that contact moment a reality.