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NCAA recruiting rules in effect

The NCAA recently adopted new rules regarding college recruitment which went into effect on May 1, 2019. Here’s what you should know:

  • These changes apply to Division 1 sports.
  • These changes apply to all Division 1 sports except FBS and FCS football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball, baseball and men’s ice hockey. (Click here for a refresher on recruiting rules for these sports.)
  • No communication with a student-athlete is allowed until June 15 after sophomore year.
  • No official visits, unofficial visits or off-campus contact is allowed until August 1 before junior year.
  • No recruiting conversations or verbal offers are allowed until June 15 after sophomore year.

What changes can athletes and coaches expect?

With these changes, there is now zero off-campus communication allowed between a college coach and a recruit until June 15 after a student-athlete’s sophomore year of high school.

In sports where the majority of recruiting was already happening junior year or later, these changes could speed up the recruiting process starting June 15 after a student-athlete’s sophomore year. Even though official and unofficial campus visits are not yet allowed at this point, college coaches could opt to do their evaluation and scouting ahead of time and could be ready to extend offers and fill out their future roster as soon as possible.

In sports where early recruiting is more common, the impact is more difficult to predict. Potential recruits are now more limited in their ability to communicate with college coaches, unable to schedule phone calls to college coaches through their high school or club coach or engage through email and social media until June 15 after a student-athlete’s sophomore year of high school.

Club and high school coaches

College coaches also can’t directly or indirectly make offers through high school and club coaches prior to June 15 after sophomore year—they can only express interest in recruiting a prospect. For high school coaches, club coaches and recruiting coordinators, this may result in more direct inquiries about recruits from college coaches.


The rule changes may also boost the importance of attending camps at an early stage for recruits. Even when college coaches can’t have recruiting conversations with athletes during a camp or clinic, normal interaction and the ability to evaluate recruits at an early stage may become more valuable. Camps may feel more pressure to lure younger prospects, and clubs may feel more pressure to accurately place them in camps.

Recruiting services

Additionally, the ability to evaluate potential recruits indirectly through services such as NCSA can prove to be even more important going forward. With direct communication off the table until after sophomore year, NCSA offers a convenient way to evaluate athletes at an early stage.

How to share this information.

NCAA rules can get pretty confusing, so we compiled this handy guide to the new NCAA D1 recruiting rules. Feel free to pass it on to your athletes and other coaches that may not have heard about these very important rule changes.

About NCSA

At NCSA, we’re always looking for ways to assist coaches in navigating the recruiting process. In fact, our Team Edition platform, which allows coaches to track and support their athletes’ recruiting, might be a perfect fit for you and your team. If there’s any way that we can help, please let us know.