The NCAA passed proposed rule changes on January 19th. The new rules will take effect starting August 1st of this year. I am not going to cover all 26 proposed rules but instead focus on the rules that are going to impact your recruiting the most.
Welcome to the Wild West of Recruiting
The goal of the NCAA president and the membership has been to make the recruiting rules easier to understand and allow athletes more opportunities to communicate with coaches. With all of their new rules they have certainly made it easier to understand, because compared to what the rules used to be, there are no rules!
- Any member of the University staff can recruit an athlete. The rule used to be only head coaches and assistant coaches could actively recruit. Now programs will have full-time members on the staff dedicated to recruiting year round.
- Programs can have as many staff members as they want recruiting off campus. The old rule limited the number of staff members who could conduct off campus evaluations of recruits (attend camps, showcases or tournaments). All of those rules have been thrown out in favor of allowing as many staff members to evaluate recruits off campus as the school wants.
- Coach’s can make unlimited phone calls, send text messages and private social media messages to recruits. Previously coaches were limited to a couple phone calls a month (where they called the recruit, not you calling them) and they were never allowed to text or use social media. With the new rules all of that is gone; it will be the responsibility of recruits and families to set guidelines with the coaches and recruiters.
- Universities can send unlimited recruiting materials. In the past, there were obscure rules around when, what and how much mail a program could send a recruit. Those rules have been completely erased and programs are free to send unlimited amounts and types of mail to recruits at anytime.
The Biggest Rule Change Didn’t Even Happen
There was a rule proposed that was going to allow coach’s to begin contacting recruits (outside of just mail) starting June 1st after their Sophomore year of high school. The current rule is, coaches can’t contact you until June 1st after your Junior year. This rule was not passed, which means all of the coaches calling, texting and reaching out through Facebook will have to wait until June 1st after your Junior year of high school.
What This Will Mean for Recruiting and For You
All of the new rules mean there will be more coaches and recruiters out there to discover athletes. This means when you attend showcases, tournaments or combines there is a higher likelihood representatives from the bigger programs will be there and you could get discovered. The downsides to these rules are that programs will start out with much larger recruiting classes because they can evaluate more athletes. That means a school that used to have a couple hundred athletes they were contacting, will be contacting a couple thousand. Because the rules on when coach’s can contact recruits didn’t change, it will still be your responsibility to contact coach’s before your Senior year and make sure that of the hundreds of athletes on their list, you show you are the most interested.