On April 1st, the NCAA announced that they are extending the recruiting “Dead Period” for all Division I and II sports programs through May 31.

As a reminder, that means:

  • There can be no face-to-face personal recruiting activity between coaches and recruits or families.
  • Coaches can’t leave campus for any recruiting observations.
  • Coaches cannot invite recruits to visit campus.

However, It is still permissible for recruiting to be conducted by phone, text, email or through social media.

National Letter of Intent

NLI Signing opportunities will resume on April 15th for NCAA Division I and II programs.

All NCAA sports programs – including Division I basketball and football – will be allowed to offer a National Letter of Intent and an official scholarship agreement at any time from April 15 through August 1.

(In a normal year, Division I football can only offer a National Letter of Intent until April 1, while Division I basketball must cease offering an NLI in mid-May.)

Do You Need Help?

Contact us at 913-766-1235 or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com to arrange a consultation session if you’d like to discuss your athlete’s options, or schedule a Scholarship Strategies Consult online.

Even though all NJCAA spring sports have been cancelled, and winter sports were either cancelled or had already concluded, student-athletes in those sports are still not “recruitable” by other NJCAA member colleges until the spring academic term has ended at the athlete’s current college.

A spring sport athlete currently attending an NJCAA college who plans to possibly transfer should be told by a coach at another NJCAA program that they can’t discuss a transfer until the conclusion of this term at the athlete’s current college.

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.