Recruiting defined: “contact period”

8 05 2009

A contact period is that period of time when it is permissible for authorized athletics department staff members to make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations.
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According to the NCAA, a “contact” is defined as:

  • Any face-to-face encounter between a prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s parents, relatives or legal guardian(s) and an institutional staff member or athletics representative during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting.
  • Any such face-to-face encounter that is prearranged (e.g., positions himself/herself in a location where contact is possible) or that takes place on the grounds of the prospective student-athlete’s educational institution or at the site of organized competition or practice involving the prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s high school, preparatory school, two-year college or all-star team shall be considered a contact, regardless of whether any conversation occurs.
  • However, an institutional staff member or athletics representative who is approached by a prospective student-athlete or the prospective student-athlete’s parents, relatives or legal guardian(s) at any location shall not use a contact, provided the encounter was not prearranged and the staff member or athletics representative does not engage in any dialogue in excess of a greeting and takes appropriate steps to immediately terminate the encounter.

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Basically, this means that coaches are allowed to be in your school and in your house and initiate legal, face-to-face contact and conversation with you and your family. However, keep in mind that this is not for all student-athletes, but only those that have reached a certain point in their high school careers, typically after July 1 at the completion of a prospect’s junior year. To check out the various recruiting calendars by sport and division, click here.

Keep in mind that YOU are allowed to initiate contact, speak to coaches, and arrange visits at just about any time, regardless of age or school year. The Contact Period is designed to control excessive recruiting practices and maintain fairness among colleges for the benefit of the prospect. It would be flattering if coaches were calling you at all hours and visiting your house every day.  But trust us and your peers, that gets old quickly! This can be a crazy process and you deserve a little peace and quiet every now and then.

That’s what’s meant by “contact period.” Next time we’ll discuss the “evaluation period.” Let us know your thoughts. Until next time…

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