NCAA Adjusts Recruiting Dates, Locations for Prospects

by Wendy Mayer 30

April 19th, 2018 College, News

A decision by the NCAA Division I Council will change the way student-athletes are recruited for all sports except football and basketball.

The new legislation, aimed at giving a prospective student-athlete more time in the recruiting process, reflects similar adjustments made to the football and men’s basketball calendars over the past year.

“These changes will improve the recruiting experience for prospective student-athletes and coaches and lead to better decision-making,” Blake James, Council chair and Miami (Florida) director of athletics, said. “Ultimately, a better recruiting process will improve the college experience for Division I student-athletes.”

The changes, which were also endorsed by the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, move up the start date for official visits to September 1 of the prospect’s junior year, instead of the first day of classes senior year.

In addition to moving up the start date for official visits, another key change is the removal of athletic departments from the unofficial visit process until September 1 of the prospect’s junior year. Also included in the new legislation is the ban of recruiting conversations during school camps and clinics until after the same date.

The recruiting changes stem from work by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Student-Athlete Experience Committee as well as feedback from coaches, athletics directors and compliance professionals. The changes will take effect with the start of next school year (2018-2019).

The impetus behind the legislation is the growing amount of recruiting of and verbal commitments by middle school athletes. While recruiting within swimming hasn’t yet gone that far, we have seen a complete paradigm shift in the recruiting process the past couple years, with more and more high-level swimmers verbally committing in the spring of their junior years and some during their sophomore years.

Not addressed in the approved legislation are communications, verbal and written offers and off-campus contacts.

Another item of note approved by the Division I Council is the adjustment of a notification of transfer proposal, making it effective Oct. 15, 2018. Through that legislation, transfer athletes make it known through a national database that they wish to be recruited by other schools. That proposal is due to come up for a vote in June.

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Brad Flood
2 years ago

I am never happier to be retired whenever I read these articles!

AJ Swim
2 years ago

What a disaster. This puts way more pressure on young athletes because coaches can + WILL start hounding them earlier on in HS. Further, programs with more resources will reap the benefits of this, while programs with less money and man power simply won’t be able to keep up in the recruiting of elite athletes. This will thin the talent spread even more than it already is now. Finally – a hot take here – but I abhor junior commitments as young people (for whom science has proven their brains are not fully developed) are generally still working to figure out their identity as an individual, let alone know what they will want for themselves as a student and athlete… Read more »

Reply to  AJ Swim
2 years ago

That’s a room-temperature take, at best. I think almost everybody hates junior commitments.

But, they’re not going away, not matter how much anybody complains or says they hate them, so the next-best option is to at least give those juniors more information via official visits than they were getting otherwise.

Reply to  AJ Swim
2 years ago

What programs with less money and manpower are gettting elite swimmers on the regular?

2 years ago

So will the current juniors searching for colleges go on recruiting trips with the current sophomores? Wont this be very expensive for colleges to handle with the combination of two classes getting recruited at the same time period? Should be interesting how this plays out…

Reply to  kaez
2 years ago

They’ll still only get 1 official visit, so it’s more expensive certainly than the old system in the sense that with so many swimmers committed as juniors, there were going to be way fewer official visits. But, should be the same net cost.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

This first year of transition should be more expensive. The current junior commits are still going to take their official visits this fall. They have been waiting for this opportunity and for this group (current junior commits), it will be the only one they get.