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Recruiting Rules

NCAA Recruiting Rules: When Can College Coaches Contact High School Athletes

The NCAA recruiting rules can be detailed and tricky to understand. One of the most common questions families ask is when college coaches can start contacting their athletes. For most sports, coaches can begin reaching out to athletes starting September 1 or June 15 going into the athlete’s junior year of high school.

More specifically, coach contact depends on your sport, age, division level and the type of communication. The NCAA recruiting rules are designed to limit the amount of communication elite athletes receive from coaches, giving them some respite from all the calls, emails and letters. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you understand when you can expect to start hearing from college coaches, based on your sport and desired division level.

Insider Tip: As an athlete, you can reach out to college coaches at any time. The NCAA recruiting rules only limit when coaches can communicate with potential recruits. We recommend emailing coaches of programs you are interested in as early as possible. Send them your athletic resume, which includes:

·         Your highlight video

·         Any sport-specific stats

·         Your academic information

·         Why you are interested in their program

When the NCAA recruiting rules allow coaches to contact you, you will already be on their radar. Be sure to follow up each of your communications with a phone call, as coaches can take your call at any point. They just can’t call you back if they miss your call.

When can Division I coaches contact athletes?

Generally speaking, DI coaches can send athletes recruiting questionnaires, camp brochures, and non-athletic institutional publications freshman and sophomore year. Most other contact begins either June 15 or September 1 of the athlete’s junior year, according to the NCAA recruiting rules.

Insider Tip: Athletes can always communicate with college coaches through their club or high school coach. Your current coach can communicate with the college coach and set up a phone call, telling the college coach to expect a call from the athlete at a specific time so the coach is sure to answer the phone.

Division I Rowing

  • September 1 of junior year: Coaches can send athletes all forms of private electronic correspondence, including text messages, instant messages, direct messages and emails, as well as all recruiting materials. Coaches can also call athletes at this point.
  • September 1 of junior year: Athletes can begin taking unofficial visits.
  • July 1 after junior year: Coaches can conduct off-campus contact with athletes at their residence or school.
  • Opening day of classes senior year: Athletes may begin taking official visits.
  • Senior year: Coaches can conduct off-campus communications with athletes and/or their parents no more than three times.

When can Division II coaches contact athletes?

The NCAA Recruiting Rules for Division II schools are slightly more relaxed than those for Division I, and the rules are the same across all sports:

  • General materials: Athletes can receive brochures for camps, questionnaires, NCAA materials and non-athletic recruiting publications at any time.
  • Printed recruiting materials: Starting July 15 before an athlete’s junior year, coaches can begin sending recruits printed recruiting materials.
  • Telephone calls: Starting June 15 going into the athlete’s junior year, coaches can start calling athletes.
  • Off-campus contact: Coaches can conduct off-campus communications with athletes and/or their parents starting June 15 before the athlete’s junior year.
  • Official visits: Athletes may start taking official visits starting June 15 going into their junior year.

When can Division III coaches contact athletes?

DIII schools have the most relaxed NCAA recruiting rules of all the division levels. Similar to NCAA DII, they are the same for all sports:

  • Recruiting materials: Athletes can receive recruiting materials at any time.
  • Telephone calls: There is no limit on when college coaches can call athletes.
  • Off-campus contact: After the athlete’s sophomore year, college coaches may begin to conduct off-campus communications.
  • Official visits: Athletes can begin taking official visit after January 1 of their junior year.

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