If you are a parent of a high school athlete who is taking online courses of any kind, we advise you to make sure that those courses will be accepted as “Core Courses” by the NCAA Eligibility Center so that the athlete can be classified as a Qualifier.

We were recently contacted by the parent of a high school senior who just learned that nearly all of the courses that his daughter took online will not be accepted by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Do you Have Questions?

For questions about NCAA core course requirements, schedule a confidential Eligibility Consult online, contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

We can also provide our Freshman Transcript Review Service to provide a written report on your athlete’s progress toward becoming a Qualifier to be eligible for a scholarship, practice, and competition as a freshman.

A signed National Letter of Intent is valid ONLY for high school recruits OR for junior college athletes who are going to an NCAA DI or DII program. The National Letter of Intent must be accompanied by an Athletic Scholarship Offer to be valid.

There is no such thing as an NCAA National Letter of Intent for an athlete who is enrolling as a transfer directly from another four-year college.

If an NCAA Division I or II program offers a National Letter of Intent to an athlete transferring directly to that university from another four-year college, there’s a mistake somewhere – either intentionally or unintentionally.

A National Letter of Intent signed in this situation is not valid.

We’ve recently become aware of at least two situations where an athlete transferring to an NCAA Division I or II program from another four-year university was sent a National Letter of Intent. We strongly believe that in at least one of those instances, the coaching staff was purposely trying to trick the athlete into thinking that he had no other option.

Do you Have Questions?

If you have questions about either the NCAA National Letter of Intent and how it affects your athlete or if you would like us to review your scholarship offer and National Letter of Intent before you sign, schedule a confidential scholarship strategies consult online or contact us by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Wednesday, February 5th is the first day of the National Letter of Intent signing period for NCAA Division I and II football recruits.

Although NCAA Division I football programs had an “early” signing period in December, this upcoming period will be the first opportunity for Division II football programs to sign recruits to a scholarship for next year.

This signing period is open through April 1 for Division I football programs, but continues through August 1 for Division II programs.

If you have questions about either the NCAA National Letter of Intent and how it affects your athlete or if you would like us to review your scholarship offer and National Letter of Intent before you sign, schedule a confidential scholarship strategies consult online or contact us by calling 913-766-1235 or sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

Recruits to NCAA Division I programs who have already made an official visit to a Division I campus are permitted an additional official visit to the same university if that sport program has had a head coaching change since the recruit’s original official visit.

This is an exception to the rule that limits a university to provide only one official visit to a recruit. Once a new head coach is hired at a Division I university, it is now permissible for a recruit to make a 2nd official visit to that university.

If you have questions about recruiting rules, or for advice about your athlete’s recruitment, schedule a confidential Recruiting Rules Consult online or contact us by calling 913-766-1235 or by sending an email to rick@informedathlete.com.

September 1 of a high school recruit’s junior year “opens the door” for the following recruiting activities in selected NCAA Division I sports:

Baseball – Official and unofficial visits and receiving phone calls, text messages, and email or other direct correspondence

Women’s Basketball – Receiving phone calls, text messages, and email or other direct correspondence

Football – Receiving text messages and emails or other direct correspondence

Lacrosse and Softball – Official and unofficial visits, and off-campus contact by Division I coaches, as well as receiving phone calls, text messages, and email or other direct correspondence. Also, Division I coaches can accept incoming calls from high school juniors in lacrosse and softball starting Sept. 1 of junior year.

If you have questions about the recruiting rules for these or any other NCAA sports, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235.

August 1 is a very important date for certain aspects of recruiting for many NCAA Division I sports programs. Those recruiting opportunities that can begin on August 1 are listed below:

Official Visits – Can be provided August 1 by Division I programs to recruits who will be entering their junior year of high school, with the following exceptions:

  • Baseball, Softball, and Lacrosse – Sept. 1 of junior year of HS
  • Women’s Basketball and Football – April of junior year of HS

Unofficial Visits – Division I programs can be actively involved in unofficial visits for recruits who will be entering their junior year of high school starting August 1, with the following exceptions:

  • Football and Women’s Basketball – Any time, no restrictions.
  • Men’s Ice Hockey – January 1 of sophomore year of HS
  • Men’s Basketball – August 1 before sophomore year of HS
  • Baseball, Softball, and Lacrosse – Sept. 1 of junior year of HS

Off-Campus Contacts – Face-to-face interaction between Division I coaches and prospects (and/or their family) at off-campus locations permissible August 1 before their junior year with the following exceptions:

  • Men’s Basketball – Opening day of junior year of HS
  • Lacrosse and Softball – September 1 of junior year of HS
  • Women’s Basketball – March 1 of junior year of HS
  • Baseball and Football – July 1 after junior year of HS

If you have questions about the NCAA recruiting rules for your specific sport of interest, contact us at 913-766-1235 or via email to rick@informedathlete.com

We are having multiple student-athletes call us for help in guiding them through transfers because of coaches reneging on a “promise” that they would increase their scholarship in future years.

If you are being recruited and a coach is telling you that “I don’t have a scholarship now but can give you one in the future,” or “I can increase your scholarship based on how you perform this year” our advice is to just assume that WON’T happen.

If it sounds like I’m cynical about such promises after my many years in this business, that would be correct! Here are a few reasons why:

  • Once a coach gets your athlete on campus as a walk-on or only on a small scholarship, they know that in many cases your athlete will start making multiple connections – with classmates and teammates, and being “all-in” with their choice of school.
  • Some coaches assume that if you could pay for your athlete’s freshman year with only a small scholarship or as a walk-on athlete, that you can find a way to continue paying once your athlete is happy and invested at their college.
  • Coaches are always trying to improve their programs by recruiting athletes who are better than the ones they already have. When deciding between allocating scholarship money to a new incoming recruit or an athlete who’s already in their program, most of the time the coach is going to give that scholarship to an incoming recruit to attract them to the school while your athlete has already “bought in.”

My personal opinion

I suggest an athlete or family should NEVER expect that the scholarship value will increase in future years – UNLESS your athlete receives an official multi-year scholarship offer that provides a freshman year scholarship AND steady or increasing values in future years.

Need Advice?

If you’d like an unbiased, confidential opinion about your athlete’s scholarship offer or how that scholarship might change in the future, schedule a Scholarship Strategies Consult online, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call our office at 913-766-1235.

Some athletic recruiting services promote themselves as “NCAA-Certified” services. So, what does it mean to be “NCAA-Certified?”

The NCAA certifies recruiting services ONLY if they are going to be used by the basketball and football programs at a Division I university. Those two sports can’t use a recruiting or scouting service unless it’s been expressly approved by the NCAA.

There are conditions that all recruiting services are supposed to follow if they want NCAA sports programs to subscribe to their services. To satisfy those conditions, recruiting services are required to:

  • Be available to all universities that choose to subscribe and at the same fee charged to all subscribers.
  • Provide information about each recruit in a standardized format that ensures the same information is provided to all subscribers.
  • Live phone reports, discussions, or individualized email or text messages don’t satisfy the above requirement.

However, in sports other than Division I basketball and football, those services aren’t certified with a “stamp of approval” as they must be for basketball and football.

The bottom line – buyer beware when it comes to signing up with a recruiting service.

For more information about recruiting issues, visit the Recruiting Rules section on our website.

June 15th is an important date for high school athletes who are being recruited to NCAA DI and DII schools and also to junior colleges.

NCAA Division I Recruiting Information:

June 15th is the first date when most NCAA Division I coaches will be able to place recruiting phone calls and send emails/messages to athletes who have just completed their sophomore year of high school.

The following Division I sports are the only ones that have a date other than June 15 as the earliest date for placing recruiting calls and sending emails/messages to prospects:

  • Baseball – Sept. 1 of junior year
  • Women’s Basketball – Sept. 1 of junior year
  • Football – Sept. 1 of senior year except for one call between Apr. 15 and May 31 of junior year
  • Men’s Ice Hockey – Jan. 1 of sophomore year
  • Lacrosse and Softball – Sept. 1 of junior year

Regarding calls placed by high school recruits TO Division I coaches, the dates listed above are the same EXCEPT that coaches in the sports of baseball, basketball, and football can accept incoming calls and talk to recruits who call them at any time.

NCAA Division II Recruiting Information:

For recruiting by NCAA Division II colleges, June 15 is the date when coaches in ALL sports can start to contact recruits who have completed their sophomore year via phone, email, or direct message services.

Division II coaches in all sports can also accept incoming calls and talk to prospects who call them at any time.

NJCAA Letter of Intent Signees:

For athletes who attended an NJCAA two-year college during the 2018-19 academic as a Letter of Intent signee: June 15 is also the date by which notification of renewal of the Letter of Intent for the 2019-20 academic year is supposed to be provided by their college.

An NJCAA athlete not signed to a second-year scholarship by June 15 (which is supposed to be in the form of a new Letter of Intent) becomes recruitable by any other NJCAA college starting on June 16.

For specific questions about recruiting rules, or Letter of Intent or scholarship agreements, schedule a confidential consult online or call 913-766-1235.

The NCAA Division I Management Council recently approved following recruiting rule changes.  The NCAA DI Recruiting Rule changes are effective beginning May 1, 2019:

Recruiting Calls

In most sports, the earliest date for NCAA Division I coaches to place recruiting calls to prospects was moved up from September 1st at the start of the junior year to June 15th after the sophomore year.

The exceptions are:

  • Baseball, Softball, Lacrosse and Women’s Basketball – September 1st of junior year
  • Football – September 1st of senior year except for one call between April 15-May 31st of junior year
  • Men’s Ice Hockey – January 1st of sophomore year

Incoming Calls

NCAA DI coaches in most sports can accept incoming calls from recruits on/after June 15th after the sophomore year.

The exceptions are:

  • Lacrosse and Softball – September 1st of junior year
  • Baseball, Basketball, Football and Men’s Ice Hockey – Permissible at any time

Earliest Date for Coaches to Send Recruiting Materials to Prospects

NCAA DI Coaches are now allowed to send recruiting materials via text message, emails, etc to prospects starting June 15th after sophomore year of HS. (The previous rule for most sports was September 1st of the junior year).

The exceptions are:

  • Football, Baseball, Softball, Lacrosse and Women’s Basketball – Sept. 1st of junior year
  • Men’s Ice Hockey – January 1st of sophomore year

Off-Campus Contacts

NCAA DI Coaches in many sports can now have off-campus contacts with recruits in many sports as early as August 1st at the START of the recruit’s junior year. (The previous time frame was July 1st AFTER the junior year.)

The exceptions are:

  • Baseball and Football – July 1st following completion of junior year of HS
  • Men’s Basketball – opening day of junior year of HS
  • Women’s Basketball – March 1st of junior year of HS
  • Men’s Ice Hockey – June 15th after sophomore year of HS
  • Lacrosse and Softball – September 1st of junior year of HS

Official and Unofficial Visits

The earliest date for official and unofficial visits was moved just one month earlier for most sports – from September 1st at the start of the junior year to August 1 at the start of the junior year. This rule was changed to accommodate home football, soccer or volleyball contests that occur in August.

For Official Visits, the exceptions are:

  • Baseball, Softball and Lacrosse – September 1st of junior year
  • Women’s Basketball – Thursday after Women’s Final Four during junior year
  • Football – April 1st of junior year

For Unofficial Visits with Athletic Department Involvement, the exceptions are:

  • Baseball, Softball and Lacrosse – September 1st of junior year
  • Men’s Basketball – August 1st of sophomore year
  • Football and Women’s Basketball – No restriction on earliest date

Medical Exams During Official or Unofficial Visits:

Effective May 1, 2019: During an official or unofficial visit to a Division I campus, universities will be permitted to conduct a medical exam on a prospect to determine the prospect’s “…medical qualifications to participate in intercollegiate athletics.”

The exam must be conducted by a team physician or athletic trainer. No coaches or other athletic staff members may be present.

Prospects Involved in Tournaments or Multi-Day Events:

Effective May 1, 2019 for all sports other than basketball: Prospects involved in competition (such as in a tournament or multi-day event) can have contact with NCAA Division I coaches when competition has concluded for the day. (The previous rule prohibited contact until the tournament concluded or the prospect’s team is eliminated from competition.)

Scholarship & Financial Aid

Effective August 1, 2019: Athletes can accept up to $1000 of athletically-related outside financial aid per academic year from “…established and continuing programs to aid students.”

Examples include high school booster clubs, local sports clubs, and civic clubs providing athletic recognition.

For more information

Contact us via e-mail at rick@informedathlete.com or by calling 913-766-1235 if you have questions about these rule changes or any other changes that you might have heard or read about via social media or in your local paper (if you’re “old-school” like me!!).