When can Division I Football Coaches Contact Athletes?



cropped-LOGO.pngThe NCAA recruiting rules around football coach, recruit contact are written to protect student-athletes from getting too many calls and visits from football coaches.

The rule of thumb is that coaches can’t contact a recruit before June 1 of their junior year.

How Does a High School Freshman get a Scholarship before College Football Coaches can Contact Them?

The NCAA rules state a college coach can’t “recruit” an athlete before June 1 of their junior year, so it might seem illegal for recruits to get offered and be accepting scholarships as freshmen or younger. It isn’t illegal and here’s how it happens:

“Recruiting” has a very specific definition by the NCAA. Recruiting as defined by the NCAA means a college coach actively reaching out to an athlete. However, there are no rules prohibiting an athlete from calling or visiting a college coach. If the athlete initiates the contact, coaches and recruits can talk and discuss whatever they want, including scholarships.

These recruits’ coaches are very involved. Because college football coaches can’t contact the recruits or families directly, they utilize their club or high school coaches to arrange a way for them to meet with or talk to the recruits.

The hard truth about athletes getting scholarship offers as 8th graders is they are very clearly some of the top athletes in the country for their age. When an athlete receives an early scholarship offer, it is very likely they are already competing at the national level in their sport.

Football Coaches can Talk to Athletes if the Athlete Initiates the Contact

A student-athlete’s high school coach or club coach is the perfect person to help them establish connections with college coaches before the contact period. It is not uncommon for elite recruits’ coaches to arrange a visit or phone call with college coaches interested in them. Without this third party, families would rarely be able to take advantage of the major rules loophole.


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Edited and Re-Published from Joe Leccesi, NCSA Recruiting Coach http://www.ncsasports.org/

April 7, 2017