Posts

NCAA Eligibility Changes

NCAA Eligibility Changes for High School Athletes

How the new NCAA Eligibility Center Changes affect High School Athletes

The NCAA has recently tweaked their Eligibility Center process for high school athletes. In the past, only athletes that were interested in playing NCAA D1 or NCAA D2 athletics were required to register with the Eligibility Center and all had to pay a fee to register.

Per the NCAA website, the new classifications are as follows…

  1. Certification Account: You need to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center to compete at an NCAA Division I or II school. You also need to be registered with a Certification Account before you can make official visits or sign a National Letter of Intent in Division I or II.
  2. Profile Page: If you plan to compete at a Division III school or are currently unsure which division you want to compete in, create a Profile Page. If at any time you wish to pursue a Division I or II path, you will be able to transition to a Certification Account.

Why did the NCAA make this change?

It’s possible someone raised a great point. If I am going to play D3 athletics, which doesn’t use the NCAA Eligibility Center for eligibility decisions or possibly not get recruited at all by any NCAA coaches at the D1 or D2 level, why do I need to pay the NCAA the $80 fee to register (or $135 for International athletes).

What if I am still not sure about what school I will attend or what school/coach will recruit me?

This is where the change works. The NCAA will allow you to create a profile page for free and then transition that page to a paid Certification Account once you get further along in the process and are actively getting recruited by D1 and D2 coaches who will need access to your eligibility status. PDF link with transfer instructions If you think you will definitely be playing D3 athletics, then there is no need for you to update to the paid certification account because it is not used by NCAA D3 schools.

NCAA Eligibility Center

NCAA Eligibility Center

What do I need to register with the Eligibility Center?

To register for either account (Certification or Profile), you need a valid email address that you have access to, basic personal and contact information, and a way to pay the registration fee. You will be asked questions like what high schools or secondary schools you have attended and what sports you have competed in.

Register for a Certification Account

Register for a Profile page

What will I get back?

You will be given an NCAA ID number via email, which will be visibly in the top right of your account when you login.

What else do I need to provide the NCAA Eligibility Center?

If you are registering for recruitment at NCAA D1 or NCAA D1 schools, you eventually need to provide the NCAA Eligibility Center with your SAT/ACT scores.

That can be accomplished by logging into the College board website here or the ACT testing agency here. Each organization used code 9999 to send your test scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Can I check my status at the NCAA Eligibility?

Yes. Login to eligibilitycenter.org – go to your dashboard and your current status will be listed under the sports you select.

Where can I go for more information?

https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/

Do you have additional NCAA Rules and Regulations Info?

Yes, please see NCAA Rules and Regulations here

What are the Most Common Athletic Recruiting Questions?

Learn some of the most common athletic recruiting questions we are asked


Varsityedge.com has fielded lots of questions over the years. Here are some of the more common questions we receive.

How many scholarships are there for d1 football?

Division 1 football teams are allowed to offer 85 athletic scholarships for their entire team and up to 25 new recruits each year. There is some discrepancy in football where teams can sign 28 players and then ask some to defer to the spring semester (gray shirt) which the NCAA frowns upon.

Can division 3 offer athletic scholarships?

No, athletic scholarships are only offered at the Division 1 and Division 2 level. You may, however, find a more attractive financial aid package at a Division 3 schools if you are an outstanding student and apply to colleges looking for students from your State or region to enroll.

How many division 1 baseball teams are there?

There are over 325 Division 1 baseball teams at the NCAA level as well as many at the NAIA and JUCO level.

How many scholarships for d1 basketball teams?

NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball teams can offer 13 athletic scholarships for their entire team and NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball teams can offer 15 athletic scholarships for their entire team. There are no partial scholarships at this level, you either receive a full scholarship or are considered a walk-on.

What percentage of high school athletes will play at the college level?

Below is a graphic the NCAA puts out which I despise because in no way does it factor in the number of players in each sport who were even interested in playing in college or who had the actual skills needed to play in college. This is not a probability chart in any way. If you have the skills to play in college and apply some effort to your recruiting process, your probability of playing in college is 100% If you do not have the skills and athletic ability to play at the college level, your probability is zero percent! Read more about participation numbers

NCAA Participation Numbers

How many scholarships for D1 baseball?

Division 1 baseball offers 11.7 athletic scholarships per team (11.78 if you want to be technical). These can be divided up to up to 27 players in the form of partial athletic scholarships. Please note, some teams will have more than 27 players on their roster but only 27 are allowed to receive aid per NCAA rules. The NCAA made several rules changes to D1 baseball a few years ago, among them: Rosters could not exceed 35 players. The Minimum athletic scholarship a player could receive was 25%. Players transferring from D1 to D1 in baseball must sit out one year. If a player on the fall roster is receiving aid and leaves the team, the coach cannot use his aid for the spring with another player. Coaches cannot use players in the spring that were ineligible in the fall. The 25% minimum scholarship rule creates a bit of a problem because many D1 baseball teams only have a few athletic scholarships to offer because it’s not a revenue generating sport. If a team has 3 total athletic scholarships available and divides that into 25% portions, they have twelve 25% portions to use. That means up to 20 players on the team will potentially receive no athletic scholarship money at all!

Can my athletic scholarship be taken away?

Yes and no. This is straight from the NCAA Division 1 Manual

15.3.5.3 Reduction or Nonrenewal Not Permitted

—After the Period of the Award. [A] If a student athlete receives athletically related financial aid in the academic year of his or her initial full-time enrollment at the certifying institution, the following factors shall not be considered in the reduction or nonrenewal of such aid for the following academic year or years of the student-athlete’s five-year period of eligibility:

(a) A student-athlete’s athletics ability, performance or contribution to a team’s success (e.g., financial aid contingent upon specified performance or playing a specific position)

(b) An injury, illness, or physical or mental medical condition; or

(c) Any other athletics reason.

15.3.4.2 Reduction or Cancellation Permitted. Institutional financial aid based in any degree on athletics ability may be reduced or canceled during the period of the award if the recipient: (a) Renders himself or herself ineligible for intercollegiate competition;

(b) Fraudulently misrepresents any information on an application, letter of intent or financial aid agreement (see Bylaw 15.3.4.2.3);

(c) Engages in serious misconduct warranting substantial disciplinary penalty (see Bylaw 15.3.4.2.4); or

(d) Voluntarily (on his or her own initiative) withdraws from a sport at any time for personal reasons; however, the recipient’s financial aid may not be awarded to another student-athlete in the academic term in which the aid was reduced or canceled.

Do division 2 schools offer athletic scholarships?

Yes, the numbers are a little lower in a few sports compared to Division 1, but they are offered.

What are the new NCAA texting rules?

DIVISION 1

Men’s basketball: Electronic correspondence can begin June 15th after sophomore year.

Women’s basketball: Electronic correspondence can begin September 1st of junior year.

Football: Electronic correspondence can begin June 15th after sophomore year. This was just changed in April of 2016 to be in line with men’s basketball.

All Other sports: Electronic correspondence can begin September 1st of junior year.

Swimming & Diving, Cross Country, Track & Field: Only email and faxes allowed until you provide a written commitment to the NCAA school

DIVISION 2 & 3

Texting is also allowed at the D2 level on/after June 15th of a prospects sophomore year.

The NCAA D3 council voted in January of 2012 on text messaging and it is now allowed at the D3 level for every sport.

What does national letter of intent mean?

The National Letter of Intent or NLI is a legal document signifying the award of athletic aid at an NCAA Division 1 or NCAA Division 2 school. When you sign an NLI, you must attend the institution with which you signed for a minimum of one year. Wondering what happens if you sign and then the coach leaves? You are stuck! You sign with a school, not a coach. You an appeal to the school for your release, but they do not have to let you out of it. This might be the first important legal document you sign, so when you sign it, understand with it comes responsibility and repercussions.

Can you uncommitt to a college?

A verbal commitment to a college has no legal authority until a college coach offers an award letter and a recruit signs a National Letter of Intent.

How do I respond to a college coach email?

By answering the questions the college coach asked. Even if you are not interested in the college at this time, respond to the coach in a professional manner by thanking him for contacting you. If you are truly not interested, we would advise you to say something like: “Coach (Name), Thank you for contacting me. Right now I am pursuing other opportunities, but if my situation changes I will contact you immediately!”

When can colleges offer scholarships?

When you are born. Yes, we have all heard about the 7th grade phenom who already has a standing athletic scholarship offer from some college. This is nothing more than a publicity stunt and trying to get a kid excited about a school. Most of these usually fall through because kids don’t pan out or the coach is long gone from the school. There are specific signing dates for NCAA sports, and athletic scholarship offers can come before those. The offers coaches make to 7th and 8th graders are not real!

What is juco football?

There are 120+ Junior College Football teams that compete at the NJCAA in three different divisions. These sports offer athletic scholarships and have national championships. See NJCCA.org

Is it too late to get recruited senior year?

It depends on the sport you play. If you play a spring sport like baseball or softball, it is too late to have any real recruiting impact because applications have already been sent in, and in reality, college coaches are recruiting sophomores and juniors in the spring. If you play a fall sport like football, or basketball, a strong senior season can impact your recruiting process if the college coach has time to evaluate you before applications are due. Since colleges have different application schedules, it can vary from school to school and coach to coach.

Can junior colleges offer athletic scholarships?

There are 3 divisions of Junior College (D1, D2 and D3). D1 can offer full athletic scholarships. D2 can offer scholarships for tuition and books but not room and board. D3 cannot offer any athletic scholarships.

When can division 1 coaches contact you? When can d3 coaches contact players? When can division 2 coaches contact you?

NCAA D1 – College coaches can begin to call you after September 1st at beginning of your junior year.
NCAA D2 – College coaches can begin to call you beginning June 15th before your junior year.
NCAA D3 – Unlike D1 and D2, there are no restrictions as to when a D3 coach can call a prospect in high school. The NCAA feels that smaller D3 schools do not have the time, money, or resources to abuse this privilege, which will often be true.

Football Specific (Junior Year): In Division I & IAA, one call from April 15 to May 31 of your junior year. Additional calls cannot be made before September 1st of your senior year

Men’s Basketball Specific: In the summer of 2012 The NCAA adopted new contact rules for men’s D1 basketball. Coaches will be allowed unlimited phone calls starting June 15 after a recruit’s sophomore year. Private messages on social networks also will be deregulated. Women’s basketball calls can begin on September 1st of your junior year. Once that begins, the calls from coaches are unlimited.

Women’s Ice Hockey – A college coach may call International college-bound student-athletes once on or after July 7th after sophomore year. One call per week beginning July 7th after junior year.

Men’s Ice Hockey – College coaches may begin calling on January 1st of your sophomore year.

Other Sports: Swimming & diving, cross country, track and field may not be made before July 1st following junior year.

What is the Academic Index or AI that Ivy colleges use?

As a league, the Ivy’s monitor athletic admissions via a concept called the Academic Index or AI. The academic index is not a secret, but it’s not something readily discussed by coaches and administrators. The academic index is a computed score of three components – SAT I, SAT II, and GPA (Class rank was removed in 2011 from the calculation).  The minimum AI for all IVY League Schools was raised to 176 in 2011 (the max is 240). Also, the mean score at each school depends on the quality of the student body; therefore, it will vary (slightly) from school to school, so Harvard will have a higher AI than Dartmouth.

How Do I Contact College Coaches?

How do I contact college athletic coaches to try and get recruited?

What is the best way to contact college athletic coaches?


I recently got an email from a student asking how they should contact a coach. They asked via email or formal letter? The easy answer is as follows. Fill out the online recruit form found on most college websites which will capture your academic and contact information. Follow up with an email introducing yourself to the coach and alerting them that you recently filled out the online recruit form. Don’t bombard them with worthless stats that tell them virtually nothing about you as a person or as an athlete but describe yourself as a person, an athlete, a student and tell them why you are interested in their school and program. Then follow up with a phone call to the coach to see what the next step might be in possibly getting considered for recruitment. You CANNOT get recruited off of one online form, an email, or a phone call, so don’t even try! The point of contact is simply to introduce yourself to a coaching staff, to express your interest in their school and program, and to see how you could possibly be considered for recruitment.

When can a college coach contact me?

If it is not the appropriate time for the coach to call you back as NCAA Contact Rules dictate when they can, they may not be able to, but you can keep calling on your dime as often as you want! The bigger picture here is not HOW you contact the coach, but what research you have done prior to contacting coaches and what you have to offer. If you aren’t qualified academically to be accepted to a particular school or you aren’t gifted enough athletically to play at a particular school, then no form of contact will get you recruited at that school! You can rent a plane and fly over the coach’s field with a banner that says “RECRUIT ME” and it won’t make a bit of difference if you aren’t qualified. How you contact a coach is so far down on the list of important recruiting steps you need to take before you even consider contacting any coach!

Before you contact any coach via email, letter, fax, phone, smoke signals, etc., try and answer yes to the following 7 questions.

1 – Can I get accepted to this school based on my academic record?
2 – Do I possess the athletic skill to play for this program?
3 – Do I have the ability to display my skills to this coaching staff in some capacity?
4 – Am I interested in this program?
5 – Can I afford this school?
6 – Does this school offer academic programs that I am interested in?
7 – Will I be happy at this school (with and without) athletics?

Before any coach considers recruiting you or making you an offer, he or she is asking the exact same 7 questions.

If the answer to ANY of these questions is NO, then it’s possible a fit does not exist. One and two are easy. If you can’t get in based on your academic record, there is no recruiting process and you can send all the emails and formal letters you want to the coaching staff that will do absolutely nothing. If you are just not skilled enough to play at a certain level, then there is no recruiting process for that school. Don’t dwell on where you can’t play, find a place where you CAN play!

Now, I recognize that the answer to some of these might take more time to discover. You might need to be evaluated by the financial aid department for aid considerations. You might need to tour the school before you know if you truly like it or not. The coach may need more time to evaluate you. That’s all okay!

The point of all of this is that there is so much you need to do in researching a particular school and program before you ever have to worry about how you contact a coach and that is what you should be focusing on. Build a list of colleges that you think might be a good fit based on academic, athletic, financial, social, and geographical factors and then worry about how to contact coaches later!

See: What are the NCAA contact rules