What Is Early Recruiting?
Early recruiting refers to college coaches recruiting student-athletes before NCAA rules permit them to initiate contact with recruits. Most DI and DII sports allow coaches to start proactively communicating with recruits from June 15 after sophomore year or September 1st of junior year. However, many DI and DII will make scholarship offers to athletes who are as young as the 7th grade. With recent changes to NCAA rules, in all sports except football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball, college coaches are not allowed to extend verbal scholarships before June 15 after sophomore year or September 1st of junior year. Furthermore, many previous loopholes that allowed coaches and recruits to communicate have been removed.
Early Recruiting When Coaches Are Allowed to Extend Scholarship Offers
When coaches hear of bright young athletes, they often reach out to the athlete’s high school or club coach. In this instance, the recruit gets more information from the college coach and ultimately sets up a call with the athlete. If a recruit calls a college coach, the coach is allowed to pick up (even if the athlete is younger than NCAA rules permit). From there, the coach is allowed to ask for videos, transcripts, and whatever else they feel is necessary. An athlete may send as many emails to the coach as they want; however, a college coach is prohibited from responding to them until the athlete meets the NCAA age requirement. If a coach is extremely interested in a recruit, they may give a verbal scholarship offer. Since it is non-binding, this can be done at any age, and the coach is basically reserving a spot for the athlete.
Early Recruiting When Coaches Are Not Allowed to Extend Scholarship Offers
In all sports excluding football, basketball, and baseball, college coaches are not allowed to extend verbal scholarship offers before June 15 of sophomore year or September of an athlete’s junior year. Even given these restrictions, college coaches will still evaluate players at various events such as tournaments. A college coach is also allowed to inform a player that they are being recruited, and they can communicate with a player’s club and high school coaches.
Next Section: NCAA Academic Eligibility Requirements