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The five NCAA recruiting rules that high school coaches should know.

College athletic recruiting was instituted in the late 1890s with the advent of student-directed athletic clubs on campuses throughout the country.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Its purpose then, as now, was to gain an advantage in the accumulation of outstanding athletes.

The rest is simple. As the pressure to win became greater, the abused multiplied.

In a recent NCAA press release, President Myles Brand stated:

"Given the information that is coming to light on some recruiting practices, I am taking immediate action to address the issue. Some of what has been alleged is morally reprehensible and has no place in college sports."

Even though recruiting is basically a college-initiated function, high school coaches have to take the initiative to control it in their own schools and guiding the athletes during the recruiting process.

A survey conducted by the NCAA Division I, DII, and DIII compliance coordinators identified the five most important NCAA recruiting rules that high school coaches should have basic knowledge of:

1. Limits on Telephone Calls and Contacts.

2. Representatives of Athletics Interests.

3. Offers and Inducements.

4. Official Visits

5. National Letter of Intent.

All the information provided below is either summarized, paraphrased, or directly quoted from the NCAA website (http://www.ncaa.org) November, 2004. Any changes initiated by the NCAA since November, 2004 are not reflected in this article.

KEY TERMINOLOGY:

1. Contact: Any time a coach has face-to-face contact with the athlete or his parents off the college campus and says more than hello.

2. Dead Period: The college coach may not have any in-person contact with the athlete or athlete's parents at any time. The coach may write and telephone you during this time.

3. Quiet Period: The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents off the campus. The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school during this period. Athletes may visit campus during this time. Coaches may write or telephone athletes during this time.

4. Evaluation: An evaluation is an activity by a coach to evaluate your academic or athletics ability. This would include visiting your high school or watching you practice or compete anywhere.

LIMITS ON TELEPHONE/CALLS AND CONTACT

Division I, Men's and Women's Basketball--

* SOPHOMORE YEAR:

Phone Calls: Athlete may make calls to coach at athlete's expense only.

Contacts (off-campus): No off-campus contact allowed.

* JUNIOR YEAR:

Phone Calls:

1. Coach may call once during March.

2. Coach can call once between June 21 and June 30 following junior year.

3. Coach can call three times in July after junior year.

4. Coach can call once per week starting August 1 after junior year.

Contacts (off-campus):

* Allowed, once only during April at athletes' high school campus.

* Allowed starting July 1 after athletes' junior year.

* SENIOR YEAR:

Phone Calls:

* Coach may call once per week.

Contacts (off-campus):

1. A college coach may contact an athlete or athlete's parents/legal guardian not more than three times during the athlete's senior year.

2. A college coach cannot have more than a total of five contacts and evaluations with an athlete.

Division I: Football

* SOPHOMORE YEAR:

Phone Calls:

1. Athlete may make calls to coach at his own expense.

2. College coach cannot call athlete. Contacts (off-campus): None allowed

* JUNIOR YEAR:

Phone Calls: Once during May of athletes junior year.

Contacts (off-campus): None allowed

* SENIOR YEAR:

Phone Calls: Once per week beginning September 1.

Contacts:

1. A college coach may contact the athlete or athlete's parents/legal guardian (including evaluating the athlete off the college's campus) six times.

2. One evaluation can take place during September, October and November.

Division I: Other DI Sports.

* SOPHOMORE YEAR:

Phone Calls:

1. Athlete may make calls to coach at his expense only.

2. College coach cannot call athlete.

Contacts: None allowed.

* JUNIOR YEAR:

Phone Calls:

1. Once during May of athlete's junior year.

2. Once per week starting July 1 after athlete's junior year.

Contacts:

1. Allowed once only during April on high-school campus.

2. Allowed starting July 1 after junior year.

3. For gymnasts--allowed after July 15 following junior year.

* SENIOR YEAR:

Phone Calls: Once per week.

Contacts:

1. A college coach may contact the athlete or athlete's parents/legal guardians not more than three times during their senior year.

2. A combination of evaluations and contacts can total up to seven during athletes' senior year.

Division II:

Phone Calls: A college coach may call athletes once per week beginning June 15 between athlete's junior and senior year.

Contacts:

1. A college coach can have contact with an athlete or athlete's parents/legal guardians off the college campus beginning June 15 after the athlete's junior year.

2. A college coach is limited to three in-person contacts off campus.

Division III:

Phone Calls: No limit on number of calls or when they can be made by the college coach.

Contacts: A college coach may begin to have contact with an athlete or athlete's parents/legal guardians off the college's campus after the athlete's junior year.

REPRESENTATIVES OF ATHLETIC INTERESTS

Division I:

Definition of Representative of Athletic Interests:

* An individual, independent agency, corporate entity (e.g., apparel or equipment manufacturer) or other organization who is known (or who should have been known) by a member of the institution's executive or athletics administration to:

1. Have participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization promoting the institution's intercollegiate athletics program;

2. Have made financial contributions to the athletics department or to an athletics' booster organization of that institution;

3. Be assisting or to have been requested (by the athletics department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospects;

4. Be assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or

5. Have been involved otherwise in promoting the institution's athletics.

RULES GOVERNING REPRESENTATIVES OF ATHLETIC INTEREST:

Representatives of an institution's athletics interests are prohibited from making in-person, on- or off-campus recruiting contacts, or written or telephonic communications with a prospect or the prospect's relatives or legal guardians.

Exceptions for Recruiting by Representative of Athletic Interest:

1. Admissions Program. Off-campus recruiting contacts made by an institution's regular admissions program representative and directed at all prospective students, including non-athletes.

2. Established Family Friend/Neighbor. Contacts made with a prospect by an established family friend or neighbor, it being understood that such contacts are not made for recruiting purposes and are not initiated by a member of an institution's coaching staff.

3. Unavoidable Incidental Contact. An unavoidable incidental contact made with a prospect by representatives of the institution's athletics interests, provided the contact is not prearranged by the representative or an athletics department staff member, does not take place on the grounds of the prospect's educational institution or at the sites of organized competition and practice involving the prospect or the prospect's team (i.e., high-school, preparatory school, two-year college or all-star team), is not made for the purpose of recruitment of the prospect, and involves only normal civility.

OFFERS AND INDUCEMENTS

* Specifically prohibited financial aid, benefits and arrangements include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. An employment arrangement for a prospect's relatives.

2. Gift of clothing or equipment.

3. Cosigning of loans.

4. Providing loans to a prospect's relatives or friends.

5. Cash or like items.

6. Any tangible items, including merchandise.

7. Free or reduced-cost services, and any kind of rentals or purchases.

8. Free or reduced-cost housing.

9. Use of an institution's athletics equipment (e.g., for a high-school all-star game).

10. Sponsorship of or arrangement for an awards banquet for high-school, preparatory school or two-year college athletes by an institution, representatives of its athletics interests or its alumni groups or booster clubs.

VIOLATION RAMIFICATIONS:

For violations in which the value of the offer or inducement is $100 for DI or $50 for DII or $25 for DIII or less, the eligibility of the individual (i.e., prospective or enrolled student-athlete) shall not be affected/conditioned upon the individual repaying the value of the benefit to a charity of his or her choice. The individual shall, however, remain ineligible from the time the institution has knowledge of the receipt of the impermissible benefit until the individual repays the benefit.

OFFICIAL VISITS

Definition: Any visit to a college campus by an athlete or athlete's parents paid for by the college. The college may pay the following expenses:

1. Athletes' transportation to and from the college.

2. Room and meals (three per day) for the athlete and the athlete's parents while they are visiting the college.

3. Reasonable entertainment expenses, including three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest.

4. Before a college may invite an athlete on an official visit, an athlete will have to provide the college with a copy of his high-school transcript (Division I only) and SAT, ACT, PACT, PSAT or PLAN score.

5. Only one official visit per institution with a limit of five (total).

WHAT IS ALLOWABLE TRANSPORTATION?

--an institution may pay for round-trip expenses for the most direct route.

--an automobile cannot be provided to the PSA during an official visit.

--air fare for commercial airlines cannot exceed the coach class.

--airfare can only be provided to the PSA.

--if institution's plan is used only the PSA can be on board.

WHAT IS ALLOWABLE ENTERTAINMENT?

--the PSA can receive lodging and meals like a regular student, local commercial facilities can be used but at a scale comparable to normal student life

--entertainment and contact by representatives of the institution's athletics interests during the official visit are prohibited.

--a maximum of three complimentary admissions to a home athletics event at any facility within a 30-mile radius of the institution's main campus where the institution's intercollegiate team practices or competes.

CALENDAR

Division I (All Sports):

1. Allowed beginning opening day of classes in the athlete's senior year.

Division II (All Sports):

1. Athletes may make official visits starting the opening day of classes in their senior year.

2. An athlete may make only one official visit per college and up to a maximum of five official visits to various colleges.

Division III (All Sports):

1. An athlete may make official visits starting the opening day of classes in his senior year.

2. An athlete may make only one visit per college.

NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT

All information below is from http://www.national-letter.org

What the National Letter of Intent Means:

1. Prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the designated college or university for one academic year.

2. Participating institutions agree to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete, provided he/she is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules.

Division III does not have National Letters of Intent.

The National Letter of Intent has many advantages to both prospective student-athletes and participating educational institutions:

1. Once the Letter is signed, prospective student-athletes are no longer subject to further recruiting contacts and calls.

2. Student-athletes are assured of an athletics scholarship for one full academic year. (If not for the National Letter of Intent program, a student could find his or her scholarship taken by a more highly recruited student only weeks or days before classes begin.)

3. Institutions can be certain that once the student-athlete has signed a Letter of Intent, there is no need to continue recruiting for that position. (Without the program, last-minute changes by student-athletes could open scholarships and positions on teams.)

4. By emphasizing student-athletes' commitments to educational institutions, not particular coaches or teams, the program focuses university athletics on educational objectives. The program promotes student-athletes' academic objectives and helps to sustain the amateur nature of college sports.

By Scott Klungseth, Inst. HPE Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD
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Title Annotation:RECRUITING
Author:Klungseth, Scott
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:1955
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