June 15, 2023, otherwise known as the first day of allowable athletic recruiting for the high school class of 2025, is finally here. Today, rising high school juniors can both initiate and receive communications –including email, text messages, social media messages, phone calls, and video calls– with college coaches and can make verbal commitments.
College coaches are allowed to:
- send recruiting materials and electronic correspondence (emails, text messages);
- receive incoming telephone calls;
- make outgoing telephone calls; and
- make verbal offers.
Contact between coaches and prospective student-athletes, whether off-campus or on-campus (on-campus visits include both official and unofficial visits) may not begin until August 1st.
The recruiting calendar has undergone several changes over the last five years, as the NCAA has tried to make the lives of prospective student-athletes and college coaches less stressful. Some of the modifications were meant to curb early recruiting (gone are the days when coaches were getting verbal commitments from 8th-graders; now that can’t begin until June 15th between 10th and 11th grades); others were instituted to give coaches a break from year-round recruiting (there are now six weeks of “dead period” in which no recruiting can take place).
Here are a few examples of recent rule changes:
- In April 2018, the NCAA changed the recruiting rules for Division I to allow official visits beginning September 1st of a swimmer’s junior year of high school. Previously, swimmers weren’t allowed to take official visits until after the first day of classes of their senior year. This move by the NCAA put recruited student-athletes on the same footing as non-recruited students, allowing them more time to make their decisions and taking a great deal of pressure off the fall of their senior year. At the same time, it moved up the verbal commitment calendar, as more and more student-athletes were making their decisions during their junior years.
- In 2019, the NCAA adopted new rules allowing communication between coaches and recruits to begin on June 15 after the athlete’s sophomore year of high school. Off-campus visits, official visits, and unofficial visits were permitted beginning six weeks later, on August 1. In years past, coaches had to wait until July 1 after a student-athlete’s junior year to initiate communication. Coaches could accept calls from student-athletes at any time, but they couldn’t initiate any contact themselves. The 2019 rule restricted coaches from accepting phone calls from recruits until June 15 after their sophomore year.
- In April 2023, the NCAA created new rules for official and unofficial recruiting visits, doing away with the restriction that limited prospective student-athletes to a total of 5 official visits. Now, they can take as many official visits as they like, although they will be limited to one visit per school unless there is a head coaching change after the initial visit.
The NCAA also instituted six weeks of “dead period” prohibiting all recruiting activity: the final week in August, the last two weeks in December, the first week in January, and two weeks in February.
(NOTE: If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected]. Do not leave it in the comments below.)