NHSCA
 
National High School Coaches Association

RECRUITING RULES

 

This section provides information for student-athletes and coaches on recruiting rules and regulations. It includes links to convenient sport-specific calendars, as well as definitions of key recruiting-related terminology. Also included is a guide for student-athletes interested in transferring to another college or university.

Click Here to see the Recruiting Calendar


Recruiting Definitions

Contact | Contact Period | Dead Period | Evaluation | Official Visit | Prospective Student Athlete | Quiet Period | Unofficial Visit Verbal Committment | National Letter of Intent


Contact 
A contact occurs any time a coach has any face-to-face contact with you or your parents off the college's campus and says more than hello. A contact also occurs if a coach has any contact with you or your parents at your high school or any location where you are competing or practicing.

 

 

Contact Period 
During this time, a college coach may have in-person contact with you and/or your parents on or off the college's campus. The coach may also watch you play or visit your high school. You and your parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and telephone you during this period.

 


Dead Period  
The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents at any time in the dead period. The coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.

 


Evaluation 
An evaluation is an activity by a coach to evaluate your academic or athletics ability. This would include visiting your high school or watching you practice or compete.
Evaluation Period - The college coach may watch you play or visit your high school, but cannot have any in-person conversations with you or your parents off the college's campus. You and your parents can visit a college campus during this period. A coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.

 


Official Visit 
Any visit to a college campus by you and your parents paid for by the college. The college may pay the following expenses: Your transportation to and from the college;  room and meals (three per day) while you are visiting the college; and reasonable entertainment expenses, including three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest.

Before a college may invite you on an official visit, you will have to provide the college with a copy of your high school transcript (Division I only) and SAT, ACT or PLAN score and register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

 


Prospective Student-Athlete
You become a “prospective student-athlete” when:  You start ninth-grade classes; or before your ninth-grade year, a college gives you, your relatives or your friends any financial aid or other benefits that the college does not provide to students generally.

 


Quiet Period 
The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents off the college's campus. The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school during this period. You and your parents may visit a college campus during this time. A coach may write or telephone you or your parents during this time.

 

 

Unofficial Visit 
Any visit by you and your parents to a college campus paid for by you or your parents. The only expense you may receive from the college is three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest. You may make as many unofficial visits as you like and may take those visits at any time. The only time you cannot talk with a coach during an unofficial visit is during a dead period.

 


Verbal Commitment 
This phrase is used to describe a college-bound student-athlete's commitment to a school before he or she signs (or is able to sign) a National Letter of Intent. A college-bound student-athlete can announce a verbal commitment at any time. While verbal commitments have become very popular for both college-bound student-athletes and coaches, this "commitment" is NOT binding on either the college-bound student-athlete or the school. Only the signing of the National Letter of Intent accompanied by a financial aid agreement is binding on both parties.

 


National Letter of Intent
The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an institution in which the institution agrees to provide a prospective student-athlete who is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules athletics aid for one academic year in exchange for the prospective student-athlete's agreement to attend the institution for one academic year. 

All colleges and universities that participate in the NLI program agree to not recruit a prospective student-athlete once he or she signs an NLI with another college or university. Therefore, a prospective student-athlete who signs an NLI should no longer receive recruiting contacts and calls and is ensured an athletics scholarship for one academic year. The NLI must be accompanied by an institutional financial aid agreement. If the prospective student-athlete does not enroll at that institution for a full academic year, he or she may be subject to specific penalties, including loss of a season of eligibility and a mandatory residence requirement.

Please note that the NLI program is administered through the NCAA Eligibility Center office.  Specific questions regarding its application should be directed to the NLI office at 877/262-1492. 

Additional information can be obtained through the NLI program Web page at www.national-letter.org. Please contact the NCAA membership services staff at 317/917-6222 if you have further questions.

Breach of NLI by Student-Athlete Prior to Initial Enrollment, Practice and Competition in Order to Attend Another Institution If you sign an NLI, you are committed to attend that institution for your initial year of collegiate enrollment. If you do not attend the signing institution or attend that institution for less than one academic year and you enroll in another college that participates in the NLI program, there may be eligibility ramifications. The basic penalty may preclude you from representing the second college until you have completed one academic year in residence at the latter institution and you may lose one season of competition in all sports.

For further information, visit the NLI Web site (www.national-letter.org) or contact the NLI staff at:  

National Letter of Intent
P.O. Box 7132
Indianapolis, IN 46207-7132
Toll Free: (877) 262-1492 
(317) 223-0700