Managing the Recruiting Process
Handling the Recruiting Process
The recruiting rules for the NCAA are currently different for each division level. On June 1, 2021, NCAA DI will return to regular recruiting rules. Furthermore, as of September 1, 2020, NCAA DII and DIII have returned to regular recruiting rules. For up-to-date information on the coronavirus impact on college recruiting, please visit the ImRecruitable COVID-19 page.
Creating a Student-Athlete Profile
How to promote your profile 36:51
Common Recruiting Mistakes
Waiting too long 2:11
Not Taking Action 5:06
Not contacting enough schools 7:19
Sending impersonal emails 10:40
Don't go unnoticed 13:16
Having your parents contact coaches for you 15:15
Understanding the importance of academics 18:30
Thinking social media isn't social 21:18 Targeting colleges that aren't a match 25:34
Communicating with Coaches
Coaches are extremely busy between juggling a rigorous recruiting and college team schedule. Ultimately, it is up to a recruit to take the initiative and stay in communication with coaches at programs they are interested in joining. As a result, it is imperative that athletes stay proactive during the recruiting process, as well as demonstrate professionalism and diligence in their communication with coaches. An online recruiting profile from ImRecruitable is an excellent resource to keep track of communications with coaches and to showcase a player’s profile.
Unofficial and Official Visits
Visiting college campuses is a crucial part of the recruiting process. These visits give recruits a feel for the campus, and ultimately help them see whether or not they would see themselves at a school. Athletes can go on both official and unofficial visits. Specifically, official visits are financed by the school, and are only typically given to top recruits. Alternatively, unofficial visits are financed by a recruit and their family. Unofficial visits cannot include a school’s athletic department until August 1st of an athlete’s senior year. Furthermore, unofficial visits can happen at the very early stages of the recruiting process; however, official visits do not happen until a recruit’s senior year.
NCAA Official Visit Regulations
Each college sporting division has its own rules; however, DI has the strictest rules. Please see below all the rules an athlete needs to know:
The NCAA only allows recruits to visit 5 DI colleges, and they are limited to one visit per school. Official visits to DII and DIII colleges for recruits is also limited to one per school; however, there are no restrictions on the number of schools a recruit can visit.
A college may cover the cost of transportation for a recruit to visit the campus. If a parent or guardian travels in the same motor vehicle, the cost of transportation is also covered for them. Although, if they travel by flight or separate bus or train tickets, the parent(s) travel expense will not be covered.
Only one official visit per school at all college sport levels
An official visit may be up to 48 hours long or one weekend
For D1 men’s basketball, official visits can start as of January 1 of their junior year of high school.
For women’s basketball, official visit can start as of April of their junior year of high school, which begins the Thursday following the Women’s Final Four tournament.
Official visit to all DI sports excluding those above can begin as of August 1 before an student-athlete’s junior year of high school.
Note: Official visits are not available during dead periods.
An Athlete Updating Their Target List of Colleges
As an athlete moves through the recruiting process, their original, suggested list of roughly 50 schools will start to shrink. It is fairly obvious for recruits to know when a coach is not interested in them, and thus these schools can be removed from their list. Coaches who are actively recruiting an athlete will send personalized letters, emails, calls and watch games. Furthermore, throughout the process, an athlete might come to terms that a school is not the right fit for them, whether this is through a visit or further research. Ultimately, it is important for a student-athlete to realize what schools are the best fit for them and which coaches are sincerely interested in them. As a result, they can continue to update their target list of schools and focus their time and effort on their top college choices.
Key Deadlines in the Recruiting Process
Please see below the 7 key deadlines in the recruiting process:
Registering for and taking the ACT and/or SAT
Registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center for D1 and D2 and/or NAIA Eligibility Center
Completing and submitting college applications
Requesting the final amateurism certification
Sending final transcripts and proof of graduation to the Eligibility Center(s)
Signing the acceptance letter
How to Negotiate and Choose the Best Scholarship Offer
Athletic scholarships vary significantly between different divisions, schools, and sports. Furthermore, only 1% of recruits receive a full-ride scholarship, and they are typically offered to those in head count sports (D1 basketball, D1-A men’s football, D1 basketball, tennis, volleyball, and women’s gymnastics). Thus, it is extremely important to compare different financial packages and scholarships from various schools when deciding on a college. For tips on how to effectively negotiate a fair scholarship, click here.
Next Section: Staying in Contact with Coaches