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Recruiting Calendar

The NCAA specifies four recruiting periods that strictly regulate the kind of interaction college coaches can have with high school students during the year. While college coaches must follow these rules, student-athletes can initiate contact with coaches at any time.

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Key Takeaways

  • Recruiting periods striclty define when coaches can contact you, but you can always contact them!
  • Take unofficial visits during the Quiet Period, when coaches cant watch athletes compete.
  • Don’t schedule a visit during the Dead Period, coaches are not allowed to meet you then.

Recruiting Periods

The NCAA specifies four recruiting periods that strictly regulate the kind of interaction college coaches can have with high school students during the year.

Important – You can always contact coaches: While college coaches must follow these rules, student-athletes can initiate contact with coaches at any time. Which is why it’s important to stay proactive and know how the recruiting calendar works.

1) Contact Period

All communication between the coach and athlete is open. During this period, coaches can have face-to-face contact with an athlete, watch them compete, visit their school or home, email, text and call them. As well as connect on social media.

Coaches offering scholarships: At this point in the recruiting process, coaches are ready to make and solidify scholarship offers. With meeting the athletes and their parents, they are able to complete their evaluations and ensure the athlete would be a great addition to their program.

2) Evaluation Period

The evaluation period is much like the contact period, however with one major difference. Coaches cannot have any face-to-face contact with the athlete off their college campus. During this time coaches will usually visit high schools to evaluate multiple players at once and watch them compete, but they can’t meet with a recruit personally. The “bump rule”- coaches are allowed to briefly say hello to recruits they happen to “bump” into when conducting evaluations. Engaging beyond that point however, is breaking NCAA rules.

3) Quiet Period

The quiet period is stricter than both the contact and evaluation periods. In this period, in-person contact can only happen on the college’s campus. This means coaches cannot visit an athletes high school or home, however they can still send emails, calls, texts, and social media messages.

Take unofficial visits: Since coaches are not permitted to watch athletes compete, they will usually encourage athletes to take unofficial visits to the college to explore campus life. Many athletic programs have begun hosting “junior days” during this time, inviting a large group of recruits to campus to tour the facilities and talk with coaches.

4) Dead Period

The most restrictive period, the dead period forbids coaches from having any face-to-face contact with student-athletes. The only form of contact allowed during this period is email, phone calls, texts, and social media messages. Dead periods typically fall right before students sign their National Letters of Intent, so that coaches aren’t having a significant influence over an athletes final decision making.

Who needs to follow the recruiting schedule?

It is primarily the coach’s responsibility to follow the recruiting schedule, but it’s important for athletes to understand the different periods as well. For example, being aware so that you don’t have any visits scheduled during a dead period, where you wouldn’t be able to meet or talk to the coach. Knowing these periods will help athletes maximize their contact opportunities to effectively be recruited.

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