One way to rule the recruiting process is to avoid breaking NCAA rules. Take note of these 13 major regulations.
Can I take as many official visits as I want?
No. You are allotted only five total expensepaid official visits, with no more than one visit per school. Your first opportunity to visit a school officially is the kickoff of your senior year in high school. Each official trip can last up to 48 hours.
When can I start calling a college coach?
Any time, but that doesn’t mean a coach will immediately return your phone call. Sport-specific regulations limit when a coach is allowed to contact you. The general NCAA rule states that calls from a coach may not be made before July 1 following the completion of your junior year of high school.
This doesn’t mean you have to remain completely in the dark. Staff permitted to return your phone calls include academic advisors and compliance coordinators, as long as the subject of the call is related to admissions and academics or compliance issues, respectively.
Is there a limit to how many unofficial visits I can make?
No. You’re permitted to take as many unofficial visits as you want, any time. Just keep in mind that you must foot the bill; schools cannot pay for unofficial visits.
I’m a multi-sport athlete. Can I be recruited for multiple sports by the same college?
Yes. Evaluations are sport-specific, but the number of evaluations you can receive for football and basketball is limited. Staff members from the same school can make one visit per week to your school, and all visits must take place on the same day.
Can a college coach talk to me before the start of my games?
No. A coach cannot contact you before any athletic competition in which you’ll be participating. This includes the passing of notes and any electronic communication. Once your competition has concluded and your coach has released you, then contact is permitted.
Am I allowed to receive any gifts or benefits from a school during the recruiting process?
No, unless such items are offered to the general student body. Staff members and representatives of athletics interest are prohibited from giving or arranging any benefits to you, your parent/guardian or friends. Specific items prohibited include clothing, equipment, cash, merchandise, co-signing of loans and employment arrangements. If you accept a gift valued at $100 or less, you’ll be ineligible until you repay the value of the benefit. Accepted gifts worth more than $100 carry NCAA sanctions.
What’s the rule for meals provided during an official visit?
You can be provided three meals and a reasonable snack. Forget about steak dinners, though, because meals offered must be comparable to those provided to student athletes during the academic year.
Can I be reimbursed for transportation expenses on the way to an unofficial visit?
No. No matter how much gas your car guzzles, a school is prohibited from reimbursing you for any transportation expenses incurred on the way to campus.
What’s the difference between Quiet and Dead Periods?
During a Quiet Period, in-person, on-campus, recruiting contacts are permitted; however, in-person, off campus recruiting contacts and evaluations are prohibited. During a Dead Period, a staff member is only allowed to write or call you. Other than that, no contacts can be made—not in person, not on campus or off, and not for evaluations, official visits or unofficial visits.
Are my athletic skills the only thing looked at during an Evaluation Period?
No. Crack open your books and make sure your grades are up to par. During this period, authorized athletic department staff members can assess your athletic abilities, as well as consider your academic qualifications. Note: No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts can be made during an Evaluation Period.
Can I talk to a coach before I sign the National Letter of Intent [NLI]?
Yes. The NLI states your commitment to attend a particular school. Coaching staff members can make unlimited phone calls to you on the initial date for signing an NLI and during the two days immediately following.
When can I start receiving recruiting materials?
September 1 of your junior year of high school. For men’s basketball and men’s ice hockey, you can start receiving recruiting materials on the June 15th following the completion of your sophomore year.
Can I receive game tickets during an official visit?
Yes. A school can provide entertainment within a 30-mile radius of campus, as long as what’s being offered isn’t excessive. You are allowed to receive up to three complimentary, general-seating admission tickets to a home game for yourself and those accompanying you during the official visit. Hoping to catch a conference tournament? Pull out your wallet, because you’ll be paying for the tickets, since the NCAA prohibits providing complimentary tickets for post-season conference tournaments, including NCAA Championships.