June 25, 2022

Chapter 10 – College Athletic Scholarship – Putting It All Together

When is a student considered a prospective student/athlete?  Once a student begins the ninth grade even if they are currently not participating in sports.

Technically, what does “recruited” mean? When a coach or other college representative approaches a prospective student/athlete or a family member of a prospective student/athlete about playing sports at a specific college.

When can a college coach legally contact a student/athlete? The student/athlete may at anytime contact a coach, but prior to the high school junior year, college coaches can send or have sent only a general informational packet about the school.

Beginning in the junior year, college coaches can send recruiting materials about their programs and schools.

While college coaches are prevented from sending recruiting materials or approaching a student/athlete before the beginning of the junior year, student/athletes may contact a coach by any means available.

For example, if you were to send a letter of introduction to the coach during your sophomore year, the coach would probably put your letter in his possible recruit file and would probably begin to keep his eye on you.

He or she will have three years to watch you. To keep your file up-to-date, send the coach evidence of your successes such as newspaper clippings, awards received, tournaments won and the like. The more coach exposure you gain, the better your chances for a scholarship.

How many campus visits can a recruit make on his or her own? A recruit can make as many visits to a campus as they like at their own expense.

Therefore, a big advantage to in-state universities is that a prospect can easily visit and see if the school is something they would like to check into further.

How many “official visits” can a recruit make? During a recruit’s senior year, they can make five “official visits” to colleges, with a limit of one per particular college.

These limits apply even if a recruit plays more than one sport. Before the recruit can visit, the college must have received the recruits high school transcript and ACT/SAT scores.

How many times can a coach visit the recruit or a recruit visit the campus? The NCAA allows college coaches to have seven recruiting opportunities per prospect during the academic year.

These opportunities fall into two categories: The face-to-face meeting and the off-campus activity used to assess a recruits academic qualifications or athletic ability.

What does the NCAA consider a face-to-face meeting? The NCAA defines contact as “any face-to face-meeting between a college coach and recruit or a recruits parents in which you say more than hello.”

Contact also is defined as a meeting that has been pre-arranged or occurs at a recruit’s high school or a competition, regardless of what is said. No more than three of the seven recruiting opportunities may be in person, off-campus contacts.

What does the NCAA consider an evaluation? The NCAA defines evaluation as “any off-campus activity used to assess a recruits academic qualifications or athletic ability.”

That would include watching practice or competition at a recruit’s school, at a camp or combine or any other site—even if “contact” doesn’t occur.

How long is the recruit allowed to visit on campus? The NCAA says the visit must not exceed 48 hours. The college can pay for the visit.

The recruit can receive round-trip transportation, and the recruit and their parents can receive meals, lodging and tickets in the general seating area–not special areas-for athletic events. Complimentary souvenirs paid for by the university are not allowed, (that means t-shirts, shorts, key chains, hats, etc…)

What are the rules for printed materials given out by a coach to a recruit? Beginning on September 1st, a school may give to you an official publication and videotape of the school; general correspondence with attachments that must be printed with black ink; a media guide or recruiting brochure.

An athletic game program and a student-athlete handbook can be given with official visits.

Can I tryout for a Division I sport? Absolutely not!!

What are the rules regarding a coach contacting a recruit? There can be no off-campus contact allowed before July 1st of a recruit’s junior year. No more than three off-campus contacts are allowed for all sports, except football, which allows seven.

When can a college coach call? With the exception of football, the following telephone rules apply.

No calls are allowed from booster club members or alumni–EVER. No calls are allowed from faculty members and coaches until July 1st after the student’s junior year.

After July 1st, a coach or faculty member may call one time per week (to you, parents, or guardians).

More frequent calls may occur during five days leading to an official campus visit, on the day of a coach’s off-campus contact with a recruit or on the first three days of signing the National Letter of Intent.

**For Division I-A football, a coach may call a recruit once during May of your junior year and then may not call again until September 1st of your senior year.

**For Division II-A football, coaches may telephone a recruit once during the month of May of their junior year in high school and then not again until September 1st of their senior year in high school. Also, football coaches can telephone a recruit as often as they wish during the period 48 hours before and 48 hours after 7 a.m. on the initial signing date of the National Letter of Intent. Outside of the contact period, a football coach may only call you once a week.

When can a college coach, faculty members write a prospective recruit? Letters from coaches, faculty members aren’t permitted until September 1st at the beginning of a recruit’s junior year.

When can alumni and boosters contact a recruit?Never!!! Not in any way–letters, phone calls, are prohibited with the exception of the regular admissions process that applies to all students.

Can I compete in all-star Games? After you have completed your high-school eligibility and before you graduate, you are allowed to participate in two high-school all-star football or basketball contests in each sport. Most often AAU competitions do not count as All-star games-but be sure to check.

Can I transfer? If you are transferring from a four-year or two-year college to a NCAA school, you must satisfy certain requirements before being eligible to participate in athletics at that institution.

Can a player-agent contact me and represent me in contract negotiations? NCAA rules don’t prohibit meetings or discussions with an agent.

However, you jeopardize your college eligibility in a sport if you agree (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent while in high school or college, regardless of whether the agreement becomes effective immediately or after your last season of college eligibility.

Also, receiving any benefits or gifts by you, your family or friends or a player-agent would jeopardize your college eligibility.

Can I accept sweatshirts, t-shirts, shoes, cash, cars or any gifts from coaches? A recruit can’t accept any gift from anyone associated with any university. By accepting any gift, the recruit could make himself or herself ineligible.

Contact period: permissible for authorized athletic department staff members to make-in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations during specific times during the year. You can view these calendars for the different sports at the www.ncaa.org

Dead period: Not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off campus or permit official or unofficial visits.

Evaluation Period: Permissible for authorized athletics department staff to be involved in off-campus activities to assess academic qualifications and playing abilities. No in-person, off-campus-recruiting contacts with a prospect are permitted.

Quiet Period: Permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the member institution’s campus.

Athletic Tryouts: A Division I or III member institution on its campus or elsewhere is not permitted to conduct (or have conducted on its behalf) any physical activity (e.g. practice session or test/tryout) at which one or more prospects reveal, demonstrate or display their athletics abilities in any sport.

A Division II institution member institution may conduct a tryout of a prospect only on its campus or at a site at which it normally conducts practice or competition and only under the following conditions:

1. No more than one tryout per prospect per institution is permitted.

2. The tryout may be conducted only for high-school seniors who are enrolled in a term other than the term in which the traditional season in the sport occurs or who have completed high-school eligibility in the sport and written permission has been obtained from the high school’s athletics director; for a two-year college student, after the conclusion of the sport season, and for a four-year college student, after the conclusion of the sport season, provided written permission to contact the prospect has been obtained.

3. A medical examination of a prospect conducted by an institution’s regular team physician or other designated physician shall be permitted as a part of the tryout.

4. The tryout may include tests to evaluate the prospect’s strength, speed, agility, and sport skills. Except in the sports of football, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer and wrestling, the tryout may include competition. In the sport of football, the prospects shall not wear helmet or pads.

5. Competition against the member institution’s team is permissible, provided such competition occurs during the academic year and is considered a countable athletically related activity.

6. The time of the tryout activities (other than the physical examination) is limited to the length of the institution’s normal practice period in the sport, but in no event can it be longer than two hours; and during the period of tryout.

7. The institution may provide equipment and clothing on an issuance-and-retrieval basis to a prospect during the period of a tryout.

NAIA Rules: The NAIA has a complete set of rules at its website at www.naia.org


What are the rules for an official visit at a junior college? A school may pay for an athlete to visit the campus for no more than two days and nights. The visit must be completed no less than 10 days prior to the opening date of classes. The school can pay for the student meals with spending limits equal to the amount college employees may spend for meals while traveling on college business. A school may not entice an athlete to attend with gifts.

Does the NJCAA allow tryout? Yes with certain restrictions.

Where can I find out more about specific rules of the NJCAA? The website at: http://www.njcaa.org/

How many letters can a coach send to a recruit? One coach reportedly sent nine hundred recruiting letters to a single athlete to show how committed the school was to that athlete.

What is the NJCAA Letter of Intent?  The NJCAA Letter of Intent is used to commit an individual to a specific institution for a period of one year. The form is only valid for NJCAA member colleges and has no jurisdiction over NCAA or NAIA colleges.

What is the NJCAA Scholarship Certification?  he NJCAA Scholarship Certification is designed to inform the student/athlete, in writing, how much athletic aid is being provided by the institution. This form binds the school to the student for the amount of aid specified on the form.

What if I signed a NJCAA and a NCAA Letter of Intent?  A student is allowed to sign a Letter of Intent with both a NJCAA and a NCAA college without sanction. The student may not, however, sign a NJCAA Letter of Intent with two NJCAA colleges. If a student does sign with two NJCAA colleges, that student will become immediately ineligible to compete in NJCAA competition for the next academic year in any sport.

One NJCAA school can offer me a full scholarship, and one school can’t offer me anything. Why?Each institution belonging to the NJCAA can chose to compete on the Division I, II, or III level in designated sports.

Division I colleges may offer full athletic scholarships.

Division II colleges are limited to awarding tuition, fees and books, and Division III institutions may provide no athletically related financial assistance.

However, NJCAA colleges that do not offer athletic aid may choose to participate at the Division I or II if they so desire.

I am a recent high school graduate and coaches have started to recruit me to play. What is allowed?

1. No institution shall permit an athlete to be solicited to attend by the promise of a gift or inducement other than an athletic grant-in-aid.

2. An institution may pay for one visit to its campus by direct route, for a stay not to exceed two days and two nights. The visit must be completed no less than 10 days prior to the opening day of classes.

3. While recruiting a potential athlete on campus, a college representative may purchase meals for the athlete. The value of the meals may not exceed the amount provided to a college employee while traveling on college business.

4. A college official must authorize all funds utilized for recruitment purposes.

For further clarification of the recruiting rules, see Article VIII, B. If a student-athlete signs a NJCAA Letter of Intent, all NJCAA institutions are obligated to respect that signing and shall cease to recruit that student-athlete. The student-athlete is obligated to notify any recruiter who contacts him/her of the signing.

NOTE: Although every attempt has been made to make sure that the above rules and regulations are accurate, YOU should check directly with the member organizations to make sure that you are completely up-to-date with any rule concerning your recruiting program. We have provided direct links to all three organizations in this chapter.
Chapter 1|Chapter 2|Chapter 3

Chapter 4|Chapter 5|Chapter 6

Chapter 7|Chapter 8|Chapter 9

Chapter 10|College Sports Recruiting


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