New NCAA Rule Changes in Plain English

By Donny Brush

 

The NCAA passed new rules yesterday that will have a huge effect on recruiting. Our own NCAA Compliance Director spent several hours on the phone with the NCAA to make sure of our interpretation of the new changes.

 

This only affects Division I programs.

 

The new rules will affect the following areas:

 

  • Official visits

  • Unofficial visits

  • When scholarships can be put in writing



 

Official Visits:

When: September 1 of your Junior year, effective August 2018, except during a dead period (see below).

What: A visit becomes official if the school pays for anything other than a ticket to an on-campus event. If they buy you a hot dog it becomes an official visit. Due to budgetary cutbacks, many schools don’t have the money to pay for the entire trip and may ask you to pay for your transportation to and from campus. The schools will usually pick up the tab for room and board while you are there.

Your parents may come with you on an official visit and schools are allowed to pay for their room and board while they are there, but they are not allowed to pay for their transportation. This depends on a school's recruiting budget.

Limits: Recruits are allowed to take official visits to 5 different Division I schools in total from September 1 of your Junior year through your Senior year of High School, except during a dead period, effective August 1, 2018.

 

Official visits to Division II schools are unlimited.

Official visits to Division III schools are unlimited.

Official visits to NAIA schools are unlimited.

Tip: don’t assume that a school will pay for everything on an official visit. You need to ask.

 

Unofficial Visits:

When: September 1 of your Junior year in High school, except during a dead period, effective immediately.

What: Unofficial visits are unlimited as long as you pay for everything on your trip. A school can provide tickets to an on-campus event while you are there. You are allowed to spend the night with the team, but you will have to pay the going rate for the dorm room or motel.  

Tip: let the coach know well in advance that you are coming to campus

You may visit a school prior to September 1 of your Junior year; however you are not allowed contact with anyone employed by the athletic department, effective immediately. In other words, coaches are no longer allowed to meet with a recruit or their parents on an unofficial visit before your junior year.

 

Verbal Commitments:

When: Anytime

What: You can give your verbal commitment to attend a school at any time and the coach can give you a verbal commitment for a scholarship offer or a spot on the team at any time.

Verbal commitments are not binding, but rarely do the coaches not honor their scholarship offers. Usually it’s the recruit who backs out, if you give your word to a coach you should honor it.

Pay attention to admission deadlines, for merit aid, as they vary from school to school. Schools are not allowed to issue a written scholarship offer to a prospect until August 1 prior to the prospect’s senior year in high school.           

Dead period:

Coaches are not allowed to meet recruits face to face during a recruiting dead period. This is 48 hours prior to and 48 hours after the first day of signing periods in November and April