The NCAA Dead Period
The dead period may sound like a time when an athlete can’t do anything to help their recruiting, but really the NCAA dead period rules just prohibits face-to-face contact between coaches and athletes. During the dead period, athletes cannot meet with a coach anywhere, including on campus or at their high school, and coaches are not allowed to come to any game’s to scout athletes (with several minor exceptions).
The only exception to the dead period rule occurs if an athlete has already signed an NLI or a written offer of admission, fully committing them to that school. After an athlete signs acceptance offer or an NLI they are free to go on an unofficial visit to their new school to get better acquainted with the team and facilities.
So What Can Athletes Do During the Dead Period?
Athletes can still talk to coaches via e-mail, phone, and social media messaging (Facebook Messenger or Direct Message on Twitter). They can use this time to continue to build their relationships with coaches.
Athletes need to know when the dead periods occur so they can avoid any possible recruiting violations. If an athlete has any in-person contact with a coach during a dead period then the coach could subject himself to a penalty, and the NCAA may prohibit the athlete from being recruited to that university.
When Do Dead Periods Occur?
They vary by sport. You must learn when the dead period occurs. Visit the NCAA’s Recruiting Calendar page to learn more about when dead periods occur for your sport. While you are checking out the recruiting calendars, you can also view our FAQ pages to learn more about the other periods that occur during recruiting: the evaluation period, contact period, and quiet period.
Generally dead periods occur during the early signing period (for sports that have an early signing period), and again at the beginning of the regular signing period. Some sports have dead periods during their championships as well.
Here Are Some Resources to Improve Your Recruiting During the Dead Period:
- Our complete guide to communicating with college coaches
- Tips for getting college coaches to respond to your emails
- Create a great highlight film to showcase your skills to coaches
- Learn the best time to contact coaches