Recruiting timelines and communication rules can appear confusing. But with a little planning and research, athletes can use them to their benefit. For example, during the Spring it is very important to be aware of the contact communication periods within your sport as well as the communication regulations that accompany them. This information is easy to located within the NCAA and NAIA regulations pages on their respective websites. This information can also be accessed in the Prepstar recruiting profile.
It is also important to note the communication rules. While many divisions (D1, D2, D3, etc) have similar, communication rules, in actuality, there are some glaring differences. The difference range from permissible emails, phone calls or visits. For example, D2 coaches in comparison to DI coaches, have much more leniency with communications. It is helpful to learn the differences.
Contact periods for all colleges run along similar timeline however. For example, FBS schools (those that go to bowl games) have similar contact periods than FCS or D2 colleges. But, D3 colleges have nominal timeline communication.
Now, for athletes looking to take advantage of Spring recruiting opportunities, the key to is to be proactive! Please keep in mind that at any time throughout the year, athletes are permitted to contact coaches. This means that to communicate with college coach outside of designated contact periods the student-athlete has to be the one to initiate contact. Additionally, this rule also applies to underclassmen (Freshman and Sophomores). So again, no matter what time of year and no matter the contact period, college coaches are permitted to talk with prospects as long as the prospect makes the first move to contact them. For this reason, I always suggest asking the coach to schedule a few minutes of his/her time for a quick call to talk about their program and recruiting process.
The NCAA posts, “The rules define who may be involved in the recruiting process, when recruiting may occur and the conditions under which recruiting may be conducted. Recruiting rules seek, as much as possible, to control intrusions into the lives of student-athletes.”
However, the statement makes no mention of prohibiting student initiated communicating with college coaches!
Clearly, it would it would be an advantage to use this rule to your benefit. I highly recommend that student-athletes take the initiative to reach out to coaches with emails, texts and voicemails. Never wait around for coaches to call you! Instead, be proactive and make it a priority to contact them.
To wrap up, it is an understatement to say that recruiting is anything but a year round process. There is no downtime. College coaches are always recruiting. They are always on alert, looking for that student-athlete who can impact their program. So make sure to use the early part of the year to your advantage.