There are rules covering just about every action that happens in the recruiting process and it can be over whelming trying to know what applies to you. One area that has many athletes and families confused is regarding the rules around communicating with college coaches.
The information below is designed to help you understand the basics about communicating with coaches and ensuring you stay in compliance.
#1. When Can I Meet With a Coach Off-campus?
Off-campus contact refers to communication with the coach off their college campus. You can only communicate with a coach off-campus on your senior year and for only a total of three times.
#2. When Should I Begin Receiving Letters From Colleges?
You can receive non-recruiting-specific material starting in high school. You can’t receive recruiting specific letters until September 1 of your junior year. However, if you play basketball or men’s ice hockey, you can receive recruiting-specific material starting June 15 after your sophomore year.
#3. When Can I Speak With Coaches on the Phone?
At any point, you can call a coach, and they can pick up and talk with you. Coaches can begin actively calling you starting July 1 after your junior year. Only football can call earlier (once between April 15 and- May 31) and basketball and hockey (starting June 15).
#4. How Often Can I Speak with a Coach?
Coaches are limited on how many times they can initiate contact, but you are free to call and e-mail coaches as much as you would like once contact periods are open. Keep in mind coaches are limited on how often they can respond to you before your junior year.
#5. When Can I Visit a Coach on His Campus?
You are allowed to make an unofficial visit anytime and can meet with the coach and their staff. You can go on official visits starting on the first day of your senior year. You can’t make more than one official visit to each school and no more than five visits in total.
#6. When Can I Receive E-mails From Coaches?
Coaches can begin e-mailing you the same time they are allowed to begin sending you recruiting-specific material. You are free to e-mail coaches anytime; before then, let them know where you will be playing and send them updated results.
#7. Can I Use Facebook or Twitter to Contact Coaches?
Coaches are heavily restricted in using social media to communicate with athletes. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t friend and follow your prospective colleges. These are a great way to learn about a team, but don’t expect a college coach to be commenting on your status update.
# 8. When Can I be Offered/Accept a Scholarship?
You can receive and accept a verbal scholarship at any point during the recruiting process, but this doesn’t guarantee you a scholarship. You can sign an official scholarship offer during the early signing period (November 14 -21). The regular signing period starts February 6 for football, field hockey, soccer, track, cross country and men’s water polo. For all other sports the signing period starts April 17th.
Here is a copy of the NCAA Guide for Student Athletes. Let us know if you have any questions about what to do next in recruiting. Ask your questions below in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!