NCAA Contact Rules

Learn some basic NCAA contact rules that college coaches must follow

The NCAA has a dizzying array of contact rules for different sports and different divisions. Most of the rules in place are designed for coaches and not recruits. Meaning, you can’t really get in trouble with regards to the contact rules. The onus is on them to know and follow the rules set forth by the NCAA

We have covered some basic contact rules below and have provided a link for the free download of the NCAA Guide

The day you start class as a 9th grader is the day you officially become a Prospective Student Athlete (PSA). The NCAA defines “Recruiting” as “any solicitation of a prospect (or your patents or guardian) by a school or a rep of the school” (someone who acts in the schools interest) for the purpose of ultimately getting you enrolled at the school and participating in athletics.

Being recruited means that eventually coaches will be contacting you via phone, mail, and in-person visits to discuss you playing for their school. To level the playing field for schools large and small (and to protect recruits), the NCAA has strict rules governing recruiting and the contacts a coach can have with potential recruits.

The NCAA rulebook is 4 inches thick. Generally speaking, following some basic rules will keep you out of trouble. However, you do need to understand some specifics…

Telephone Calls

Please note, these dates were updated on 11/6/2019 per the NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete produced by the NCAA

In all sports other sports, phone calls from faculty members and coaches can take place on or after the following dates.

NCAA D1 – College coaches can begin to call beginning June 15th between your sophomore and junior year in high school.
NCAA D2 – College coaches can begin to call you beginning June 15th between your sophomore and junior year in high school.
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: In Division I & IAA , a coach may call you or your family beginning July 1st between your sophomore and junior year in high school.

Men’s Basketball Division I: College coaches can begin to call you beginning June 15th between your sophomore and junior year in high school.

Women’s Basketball Division I: College coaches can begin to call you beginning September 1st of your junior year in high school.

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

Lacrosse and Softball Division I – College coaches can begin to call you beginning September 1st of your junior year in high school.

Baseball Division I: College coaches can begin to call you beginning September 1st of your junior year in high school.

Text Messaging
Text messaging is something we all love (well maybe not everyone) and was being used very prevalently by college coaches a few years ago. But like all good things, there were problems. Text messaging got out of control and recruits began to receive hundreds of text messages a week from college coaches, along with a huge phone bill if they didn’t have an unlimited text messaging plan. It was only a matter of time before the NCAA stepped in. In 2007 the NCAA banned text messaging from college coaches to recruits. Many coaches said they hated text messaging but had to do it because every other coach was doing it. But technology always wins out and texting and instant messaging is now allowed again under the following parameters.

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 September 1st of junior year.

Men’s Ice Hockey: Electronic correspondence can begin January 1st of sophomore year

Lacrosse & Softball: Electronic correspondence can begin September 1st of junior year.

Baseball: Electronic correspondence can begin September 1st of junior year.

All Other sports: Electronic correspondence can begin June 15th between your sophomore and junior year in high school.

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

DIVISION 2 & 3

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

D3: Texting at the D3 level is not regulated by date or frequency.

Mail Call
The NCAA once again has a wide array of rules for mailings at the D1 level for different sports. For a complete list, please see the NCAA guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete.

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