NCAA Rules: Contacting College Coaches

We have had some good conversations over on the Athnet Facebook page about when an athlete is allowed to contact college coaches, so we thought to expand our answers here.

We scoured the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA rule books to come up with a comprehensive list of when you can expect coaches to be calling you. Please keep in mind that just because they cannot contact you doesn’t mean you cannot contact them. Use a medium like e-mail to make your first initial contact, and then always follow up that e-mail with a friendly phone call introduction. If the coach doesn’t answer, leave a nice message with a short introduction of who you are and why you are calling. Never say you are calling to talk about a scholarship, this is a very bad practice; instead, say that you are calling to introduce yourself, to follow up on the résumé you e-mailed over, and to learn more about their program. Never have your mom, dad, or coach call on your behalf. If you’re calling before your senior year in high school, there is never a need to leave a phone number, but make sure to state your e-mail address in case the coach wants to find the original submitted e-mail.

Division I Contact Rules

Off-campus contact can happen after July 1 after an athlete’s junior year for all sports except the following:
Gymnastics—July 15
Women’s Ice Hockey—July 7

Baseball

  • No phone calls before July 1 after an athlete’s junior year.
  • After July 1, outside of a contact period, athletes can receive one call per week per coach/institution.
  • During a contact period, coaches can contact athletes at the institution’s discretion.
  • Contact period—Friday after the second Thursday of September through the Sunday before the early period National Letter of Intent (NLI) signing date and March 1 through August 31 of an athlete’s senior year.

Men’s Basketball

  • One call per month on/after June 15 after sophomore year through July 31 after junior year.
  • August 1 of an athlete’s senior year, outside a contact period, two phone calls per week are permitted.
  • During a contact period, coaches can contact athletes at the institution’s discretion.
  • Contact period(s)—September 9 through October 5, March 16 through March 22, and 12:00 p.m. on the Thursday after the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship through 7 days after the NLI spring signing period.

Women’s Basketball

  • One call in April of junior year or on the Thursday after the conclusion of the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four.
  • One call in May.
  • One call on/after June 1 through June 20 after an athlete’s junior year.
  • One call from June 21 through June 30.
  • Three calls during the month of July, allowing no more than one per week.
  • One call per week starting August of an athlete’s senior year outside any contact periods.
  • During a contact period, coaches are allowed unlimited phone calls with qualified athletes.
  • Contact period(s)—September 16 through October 6 and March 1 through the Thursday before the Division I Women’s Championship game.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country

  • No phone calls before July 1 after an athlete’s junior year.
  • After July 1, outside of a contact period, athletes can receive one call per week per coach/institution.
  • During a contact period, coaches can contact athletes at the institution’s discretion.
  • Contact period(s)—day after the second Saturday in August through the second Sunday in December of an athlete’s senior year and January 2 through July 31 of an athlete’s senior year.

Field Hockey, Golf (Men’s and Women’s), Rowing, Soccer (Men’s and Women’s), Swimming and Diving (Men’s and Women’s), and Tennis (Men’s and Women’s)

  • No phone calls before July 1 after an athlete’s junior year.
  • After July 1, outside of a contact period, athletes can receive one call per week per coach/institution.
  • Specific recruiting calendars have not been created for these sports at this point in time.

Football

  • One call between April 15 and May 31 of an athlete’s junior year.
  • On/after September 1, athletes can receive one call per week outside any contact periods.
  • During a contact period, coaches can contact athletes at the institution’s discretion.
  • Contact period(s)—Sunday after the last Saturday in November through Saturday before the NLI spring signing period.

Gymnastics

  • No phone calls before July 1 after an athlete’s junior year.
  • After July 1, outside of a contact period, athletes can receive one call per week per coach/institution.
  • During a contact period, coaches can contact athletes at the institution’s discretion.

Men’s Ice Hockey

  • One phone call per month on/after June 15 after sophomore year through July 31 after an athlete’s junior year.
  • One phone call per week beginning August 1 of an athlete’s senior year.

Women’s Ice Hockey

  • One call to international athletes on/after July 7 through July 31 after sophomore year.
  • One phone call per week on/after July 7 after junior year.

Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse

  • No phone calls before July 1 after an athlete’s junior year.
  • After July 1, outside of a contact period, athletes can receive one call per week per coach/institution.
  • During a contact period, coaches can contact athletes at the institution’s discretion.
  • Men’s contact period(s)—the day after the first Sunday in January through Martin Luther King Day, March 1 through the Thursday before the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship, 12:00 p.m. after the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship through the first Monday in August, and September 1 through the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
  • Women’s contact period(s)—January 2 through Thursday before the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship, on the Monday after the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship through July 31, and August 1 through the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Softball

  • No phone calls before July 1 after an athlete’s junior year.
  • After July 1, outside of a contact period, athletes can receive one call per week per coach/institution.
  • During a contact period, coaches can contact athletes at the institution’s discretion.
  • Contact period(s)—the day after the second Saturday in August through the second Sunday in December and January 3 through July 31.

Men’s and Women’s Track and Field

  • No phone calls before July 1 after an athlete’s junior year.
  • After July 1, outside of a contact period, athletes can receive one call per week per coach/institution.
  • During a contact period, coaches can contact athletes at the institution’s discretion.
  • Contact period(s)—day after the second Saturday in August through second Sunday in December of an athlete’s senior year and January 2 through July 31 of an athlete’s senior year.

Men’s and Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Sand Volleyball

  • No phone calls before July 1 after an athlete’s junior year.
  • After July 1, outside of a contact period, athletes can receive one call per week per coach/institution.
  • During a contact period, coaches can contact athletes at the institution’s discretion.
  • Women’s volleyball and sand volleyball contact period(s)—August 1 through the first Sunday of December and January 1 through July 31.

Wrestling

  • No phone calls before July 1 after an athlete’s junior year.
  • After July 1, outside of a contact period, athletes can receive one call per week per coach/institution.
  • During a contact period, coaches can contact athletes at the institution’s discretion.

Division II Contact Rules

  • Phone calls and off-campus recruiting on/after June 15 after the athlete’s junior year are limited to one per week.

Exceptions to this are the following:

Football

  • During a contact period, coaches can contact athletes at the institution’s discretion.

Specific Division II Contact Periods

Men’s Basketball

  • September 7 through October 14
  • March 1 through 30 days after the initial NLI signing period

Women’s Basketball

  • September 7 through October 14
  • March 1 through 30 days after the initial day of the NLI signing period

Football

  • December 1 through 30 days after the first Saturday after the initial day of the NLI signing period

All other NCAA varsity Division II sports are not regulated by any specific contact periods.

Division III/NAIA/NJCAA Contact Rules

There are no specific rules regarding the telephone contact of athletes by any coaches in the following divisions: Division III, NAIA, and NJCAA.

In person, off-campus recruiting is permitted after the completion of the athlete’s junior year for Division III institutions.

Do you have any questions about your contact period? Ask us in the comments section below or on FacebookTwitter, or Google+!

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