2009 Recruiting Terminology

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To avoid breaking recruiting rules, break in your NCAA recruiting lingo. Here's a list of terms to master so you can steer clear of potential violation disasters.

Award Any item given in recognition of athletic participation or performance.

Competition site Facility in which athletic competition is conducted. This includes a dressing room or a meeting space that's used in conjunction with a tournament, match or game.

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To avoid breaking recruiting rules, break in your NCAA recruiting lingo. Here's a list of terms to master so you can steer clear of potential violation disasters.

Award Any item given in recognition of athletic participation or performance.

Competition site Facility in which athletic competition is conducted. This includes a dressing room or a meeting space that's used in conjunction with a tournament, match or game.

Contact Extended face-to-face dialog between you or your parent/legal guardian and an institutional staff member or representative of an athletic department.

Contact Period Time during which head or assistant coaches may make in-person, off-campus contacts with you to evaluate your athletic abilities.

Dead Period Time during which you may not officially or unofficially visit schools, and coaches may not communicate with you.

Equivalency sport A sport [e.g., soccer, baseball, volleyball] with a fixed number of scholarships that can be divided among two or more athletes on a team. Example: a D-I baseball coach can distribute 11.7 scholarships to more than 11.7 athletes, which means it's less likely you will receive a full ride.

Evaluation Period Time during which D-I and D-II head or assistant coaches are permitted to visit your high school to assess your academic qualifications and observe your playing abilities in practice and/or games. They may not make any recruiting contacts with you during this period.

Headcount sport A sport [e.g., football, basketball] in which a maximum number of athletes can be on scholarship in any given year. Example: a men's D-I basketball program may allot only 13 scholarships each year. So if you receive a scholarship, only 12 of your teammates may be awarded one in that year.

Official visit A university-paid visit, which can occur only after your first day of class as a high school senior.

Printed recruiting materials Letters, business cards, camp brochures, questionnaires, game programs, academic and admissions publications, NCAA educational material (e.g., NCAA Guide for the College- Bound Student-Athlete ) and athletic publications, such as a recruiting brochure or media guide.

Quiet Period Time during which authorized college athletic department staff cannot leave campuses to make in-person recruiting contacts. However, they can make contact with you if you are on their campus.

Red-shirting Allows a student-athlete enrolled in a four-year college to spread four years of eligibility over five years. In your red-shirt year, you will not lose a year of eligibility. You may attend classes and practice with the team, but you cannot compete in games.

Representative of athletics interest An independent agency, corporate entity (e.g., apparel or equipment manufacturer) or individual who is recognized by a university to participate in promoting the school's athletic program, contribute financially to the athletic department, and assist in recruiting prospective student-athletes.

Slush funds Funds prohibitively provided by an outside organization, agency or group of individuals used to recruit you, including transportation, entertainment, gifts and services offered to you and/or your parent/legal guardian.

Sports camp/clinic Owned and operated by a university and located on or off campus; places special emphasis on a particular sport and provides specific instruction on activities designed to improve overall skills and general knowledge of a particular sport.

Telephone call Electronically transmitted human voice exchange; this includes video conferencing and videophones.

Unofficial visit A visit to a school that you pay for. Unlike official visits, there is no limit to the number of unofficial visits you may make before your senior year.

Unavoidable incidental contact Contact that isn't prearranged and doesn't take place on your school's grounds or at sites of organized practice and competition involving you or your team.

Related links:
Problematic Recruiting Situations
2009 Key Recruiting Checklist
Bob Sanders' Recruiting Experience
Financial Aid 411
Divisional Breakdown 
NCAA Initial Eligibility Center
Self Marketing Tips
Communicating With a Coach
Gauging A Coach's Interest
Official College Visits
Researching Colleges

Key NCAA Rules & Regs


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