The NCAA has extended the recruiting dead period for Division I athletics through the end of August, continuing its moratorium on face-to-face recruiting activities even as student-athletes return to campuses across the country for voluntary conditioning workouts.
The council met virtually on Thursday afternoon to decide on extending the moratorium which has been in place since the global coronavirus pandemic began to catch attention in the United States in mid-March.
During a recruiting dead period, student-athletes are not allowed to make campus visits with coaches, and coaches are not allowed to visit athletes off-campus. Phone calls and electronic correspondence can continue to occur, and prospective student-athletes can still visit campuses on their own without making contact with coaches.
This comes on the heels of the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees decisions to begin allowing summer countable athletically related activities to begin on July 20. Notably, this may include up to 8 hours per week of weight training, conditioning, and skill instruction, with not more than 4 hours of skill instruction, under the guidance of a coach. To this point, all athletics activities in Division I have only allowed coaches present to monitor for safety and not to actually coach.
Council members also granted a waiver to modify the start date for preseason practice in sports other than football. Fall preseasons generally begin a specific number of days prior to the first scheduled regular season contest. The waiver allows teams to count back from the first day contests are allowed, instead of a team’s actual scheduled first contest.
The waiver allows some flexibility for additional acclimatization for fall sport student-athletes who missed out on spring participation opportunities and accounts for schedule changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The official recruiting period for the high school graduating class of 2022 began on June 15. So far, the only swimmers who have committed for that class are swimmers who were originally members of the class of 2021, but who are delaying their entrance to college until the fall of 2022. Over the last 2 recruiting cycles, most of the top high school swimmers have made verbal commitments to colleges in the fall of their junior years.
For the class of 2022, a vaccine is likely to be in place by the time they arrive at college, and therefore the pandemic shouldn’t provide much direct interference in their college careers. It could, however, dramatically impact their recruitment process: many athletes may have to choose between an early commitment and getting the opportunity to visit programs before making a choice.