Understanding NCAA Recruiting Rules

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Understanding recruiting rules is a daunting task.  Recruiting rules differ for each sport and Division.  We have compiled a summary of recruiting rules specific to the sport of soccer that are most pertinent to you.  This material was gathered from the NCAA Eligibility Center’s “2013-14 Guide for the College-Bound Student Athlete”.  This guide can be found online and also includes useful information on academic eligibility requirements, athletically related financial aid, and other topics.

INTRODUCTION
College coaches must follow the rules outlined below. You are expected to follow these rules as well.  Recruiting terms are defined at the end of this blog.

 SUMMARY OF RECRUITING RULES FOR SOCCER - DIVISION I 

Recruiting Rules Summary for Soccer - Division I.jpg

SUMMARY OF RECRUITING RULES FOR SOCCER - DIVISION II & III

Recruiting Rules Summary for Soccer - Division II&III.jpg

RECRUITING TERMS:

Contact. A contact occurs anytime a coach has any face-to-face contact with you or your parents off the college's campus and says more than hello. A contact also occurs if a coach has any contact with you or your parents at your high school or any location where you are competing or practicing.

Contact period. During this time, a college coach may have in-person contact with you and/or your parents on or off the college's campus.  The coach may also watch you play or visit your high school.  You and your parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and telephone you during this period.

Dead period. A college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents on or off campus at any time during a dead period.  The coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.

Evaluation. An evaluation is an activity by a coach to evaluate your academic or athletics ability. This would include visiting your high school or watching you practice or compete.

Evaluation period. During this time, a college coach may watch you play or visit your high school, but cannot have any in-person conversations with you or your parents off the college's campus. You and your parents can visit a college campus during this period. A coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.

Official visit. Any visit to a college campus by you and your parents paid for by the college. The college may pay all or some of the following expenses:

  • Your transportation to and from the college;
  • Room and meals (three per day) while you are visiting the college; and
  • Reasonable entertainment expenses, including three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest.

Before a college may invite you on an official visit, you will have to provide the college with a copy of your high school transcript (Division I only) and ACT, SAT or PLAN score and register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Prospective student-athlete. You become a “prospective student-athlete” when:

  • You start ninth-grade classes; or
  • Before your ninth-grade year, a college gives you, your relatives or your friends any financial assistance or other benefits that the college does not provide to students generally.

Quiet period. During this time, a college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents off the college's campus. The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school during this period. You and your parents may visit a college campus during this time. A coach may write or telephone you or your parents during this time.

Unofficial visit. Any visit by you and your parents to a college campus paid for by you or your parents. The only expense you may receive from the college is three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest. You may make as many unofficial visits as you like and may take those visits at any time. The only time you cannot talk with a coach during an unofficial visit is during a dead period.

Verbal commitment. This phrase is used to describe a college- bound student-athlete's commitment to a school before he or she signs (or is able to sign) a National Letter of Intent. A college-bound student-athlete can announce a verbal commitment at any time. While verbal commitments have become very popular for both college-bound student-athletes and coaches, this "commitment" is NOT binding on either the college-bound student-athlete or the college or university.  Only the signing of the National Letter of Intent accompanied by a financial aid agreement is binding on both parties.

National Letter of Intent.  The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is a voluntary program administered by the NCAA Eligibility Center. By signing an NLI, the college-bound student-athlete agrees to attend the college or university for one academic year. In exchange, that college or university must provide athletics financial aid for one academic year.  Restrictions are contained in the NLI itself. Read them carefully. These restrictions may affect your eligibility.  If you have questions about the NLI, visit the website at www.national-letter.org or call 317/223-0706.