Understanding College Coach Contact Rules
When can I contact a college coach?
Student-athletes are allowed to call or email a college coach at any time, but NCAA baseball recruiting rules restrict when and how a coach can respond.
When can a Division 1 baseball coach contact me?
In April 2018, the NCAA instituted new Division 1 baseball recruiting rules to cut back on the growing number of early offers coaches extend to recruits.
Official visits: Student-athletes can begin taking official visits beginning Sept. 1 of their high school junior year. Previously, official visits were not allowed until the recruit’s senior year.
Unofficial visits: College athletic departments—including coaches—are not permitted to be involved in a student-athlete’s unofficial visits prior to Sept. 1 of their high school junior year. Before the rule change, underclassmen could take advantage of an unofficial visit to possibly get an early verbal scholarship offer. Under the current rules, should a recruit happen to come into contact with a coach on campus during an unofficial visit, no recruiting conversations can take place.
Camps: Recruiting conversations are forbidden between recruits and college coaches during camps prior to Sept. 1 of the athlete’s junior year of high school. Before this new rule, coaches and underclassmen were not prohibited from talking about recruiting. There was nothing to stop coaches from extending a verbal scholarship offer to recruits.
According to the NCAA these rule changes were made to give prospective student-athletes more time to consider their college choice and avoid the pressures of early recruitment. The goal is for students to concentrate on their grades, take their ACTs or SATs, continue to grow as an athlete, research their target schools and maximize their high school experience.
When can Division II coaches contact athletes?
The NCAA Recruiting Rules for Division II schools are slightly more relaxed than those for Division I, and the rules are the same across all sports:
- Non-recruiting materials: Athletes can receive brochures for camps, questionnaires, NCAA materials and non-athletic recruiting publications at any time.
- Printed recruiting materials: Starting July 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year, coaches can begin sending recruits printed recruiting materials.
- Telephone calls: Starting June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year, coaches can start calling athletes.
- Off-campus contact: Coaches can conduct off-campus communications with athletes and/or their parents starting June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year.
- Unofficial visits: Athletes can take unofficial visits at any time.
- Official visits: Athletes may start taking official visits starting June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year.
When can Division III coaches contact athletes?
DIII schools have the most relaxed NCAA recruiting rules of all the division levels. Similar to NCAA DII, they are the same for all sports:
- Recruiting materials: Athletes can receive recruiting materials at any time.
- Telephone calls: There is no limit on when college coaches can call athletes.
- Digital communications: There is no limit on when college coaches can contact athletes digitally.
- Off-campus contact: After the athlete’s sophomore year, college coaches may begin to conduct off-campus communications.
- Official visits: Athletes can begin taking official visits after January 1 of their junior year.
- Unofficial visits: Athletes can make an unlimited number of unofficial visits at any time.