Everything You Need To Know About Recruiting Compliance

Courtesy of ACC Recruiting

Fall signing period:

When: November 8-15, 2017

What: swimmers can sign a National Letter of Intent which is their binding agreement to attend a particular school. Coaches will provide scholarship papers for the swimmers and their parents to sign. A recruit cannot sign a National Letter of Intent unless there is some form of athletic scholarship. A book scholarship is the minimum.

A recruit must sign the NLI and scholarship papers between the November 8th and 15th and has 14 days to get the signed forms back to the coach.  However, we recommend getting the National Letter of Intent back to the school as soon as possible, within the time frame allowed.

Dead period:

Coaches are not allowed to meet recruits face to face from Monday November 06, 2017 through Thursday November 09, 2017 for the fall signing period. The dead period for the spring signing period is April 09, 2018 through April 12, 2018.

Official Visits:

When: September 1 of your senior year through August 1 except during a dead period.

What: A visit becomes official if the school pays for anything other than a ticket to an on campus event. If they buy you a hot dog it becomes an official visit. Due to budgetary cutbacks many school don’t have the money to pay for the entire trip and will ask you to pay for your transportation to and from campus. The schools will usually pick up the tab for room and board while you are there.

Your parents may come with you on an official visit and schools are allowed to pay for their room and board while they are there. This depends on a schools recruiting budget.

Limits: recruits are allowed to take official visits to 5 different Division I schools

Official visits to Division II schools are unlimited.

Official visits to Division III schools are unlimited.

Official visits to NAIA schools are unlimited.

Tip: don’t assume that a school will pay for everything on an official visit. You need to ask.

Unofficial Visits:

When: anytime except during a dead period.

What: unofficial visits are unlimited as long as you pay for everything on your trip. A school can provide tickets to an on-campus event while you are there. You are allowed to spend the night with the team, but you will have to pay the going rate for the dorm room or motel.

Tip: let the coach know well in advance that you are coming to campus

Regular Signing Period:

When: April 11 through August 1, 2018

Verbal Commitments:

When: anytime

What: you can give your verbal commitment to attend a school at any time and the coach can give you a verbal commitment for a scholarship offer or a spot on the team at any time.

Verbal commitments are not binding, but rarely do the coaches not honor their scholarship offers. Usually, it’s the recruit who backs out, if you give your word to a coach you should honor it.

Pay attention to admission deadlines, for merit aid, as they vary from school to school.  Lastly, a coach can’t put a scholarship offer in writing until August 1st of the student-athletes senior year in high school.


Finding out if you have what it takes to compete in swimming at the college level is easy, and many swimmers do have the potential considering all of the options. Go to www.ACCrecruits and submit a Free Profile.


SwimSwam is an ad partner with ACC. Go here and learn more about ACC and their team of college swimming experts.

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Brian Fazzino

Division 2 does not have unlimited official visits. We only have five just like division 1.


I can’t comprehend why this got 4 down votes…do people dislike correct information?

Stuart Cromarty

Hi Brian, The rule was actually changed in 2014. For D2, athletes can do unlimited number of official visits but only one per college. A second official visit is permitted at same college if needed but it has to be after Sept 1st AFTER they have graduated high school. D1 still only allowed 5.

Brian Fazzino

I have been informed that this actually has been changed and updated. I apologize for the misinformation.

Thanks Brian – we’re still looking into it, but what we understand the current rule is that you can have unlimited D2 visits, but once you’ve had 1, you can’t take any more D1 visits. So, that’s a little confusing, but hope it makes SOME sense.

Rick Paine

We have spoken with the NCAA and the rules for D-I visits have not changed. A recruit is limited to official visits to 5 different D-I schools. D-I visits are not affected by D-II visits (unlimited).


2 questions… #1 if a coach invites you to an overnight visit to see a meet and stay over for the night is that considered an official visit? And question #2 If the coach tells me I will have a spot on the roster and Im accepted to the school but I’m not offered any scholarships am I able to Verbally Commit as long as I’m sure that schools right for me?

Stuart Cromarty

#1 If you stay on campus and don’t pay the college back it is considered official. You can ask the college what they charge for a room And pay it and then it i considered unofficial BUT you are only allowed 1 meal. 2) Most colleges offer an “in house letter of intent” that you can sign” – just ask them.


But are there rules to be able to verbally commit? Like a scholarship must be offered or anything like that? Like for example if I found a school that I like and has everything I’m looking for and the coach said I’ll be able to swim on the team am I able to verbally commit to the school (even though theres no scholarship in it for me)?

Speed Racer

That would make you a walk-on. Ask the school if they would object to you making a verbal commitment to walk-on. NLI can only be signed if a scholarship has been offered. Which at bare minimum is textbooks.

Stuart Cromarty

You don’t need to get a scholarship to verbally commit. Anyone can do it!

Rick Paine

Verbal commitments have nothing to do with a scholarship. Many schools have what is called a Letter of Commitment that gives a Walk-On (non scholarship student-athlete) something to sign instead of an NLI. This would not be binding, but it does give a recruit something to sign. Ask the coach

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