The college recruiting process is full of myths and misconceptions. Recruiting rules are constantly changing, which makes it tricky to navigate the recruiting process if you don’t stay up-to-date. In fact, NCSA Founder Chris Krause was inspired to start our company in 2000 after falling for the misconception that any mail from a college means you’re being recruited.
What makes things even more confusing is the reality that most parents and athletes are going through the process for the first time. Being a rookie can definitely add to the confusion and frustration. To help you avoid pitfalls and unexpected surprises during your process, NCSA came up with five of the most common recruiting myths to debunk for student-athletes.
Myth one: division 1 coaches can communicate with a recruit at anytime
In the past, NCAA DI recruiting rules were very strict on when coaches could contact athletes, but pretty relaxed when it came to athletes taking the initiative to talk to coaches. This loophole allowed coaches to answer incoming phone calls from athletes and have a conversation at any time. On May 1, the NCAA implemented a new rule for NCAA DI athletes. The recent rule change puts a halt to recruiting conversations and verbal offers until June 15 after and athlete’s sophomore year of high school. Recruits can still send coaches emails with their recruiting information to help them gain exposure, but the coaches are not allowed to respond until the mentioned date. There are some exceptions — Division 1 football, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball still allow coaches to answer incoming calls from athletes at any time.
Myth two: as long as it’s an unofficial visit you can meet with a division 1 coach
One of the other new Division 1 recruiting rules puts stricter rules in place around official and unofficial campus visits. In the past, if your family covered the cost of your visit, you were allowed to have a recruiting conversation with the coach during your time on campus. The NCAA wanted to put a stop to early recruiting, so coach contact is not allowed until August 1 of Junior year even if the athlete is on campus for an unofficial visit. The exceptions to this rule are Division 1 football and women’s basketball.
Myth three: college coaches will find you if you’re really good
Fact: Even if you’re the best athlete on your team, your recruiting process most likely is not going to look like that of a 5-star athlete. The competition to play college sports is increasing every year, but surprisingly only about 7 percent of American high school athletes will compete at the next level. What’s equally surprising is that college coaches have a limited travel budget which restricts them from traveling to see recruits. To increase exposure, student athletes can invest in a recruiting network like NCSA where they can contact college coaches and host quality highlight videos.
Myth four: d1 recruits are always guaranteed full rides
In reality, there are only six Division 1 sports that guarantee full-ride scholarships: FBS football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s tennis, women’s volleyball and women’s gymnastics. The NCAA calls these headcount sports. Headcount means that coaches are only allowed to have a set number of athletes on an athletic scholarship. All the rest are considered equivalency sports. For these sports, coaches are given an overall budget and are free to divide up scholarship offers as they see fit. With that being said, there are some cases where coaches give out partial scholarships.
Myth 5: if a division 3 coach recruits you, your roster spot cannot be taken away
NCAA Division 3 student-athletes get academic aid instead of athletic scholarships. In most cases, this works out great and recruited athletes are able to get the bulk of their college costs covered. When you talk to coaches at camps and campus visits, ask if there’s a chance you could commit to the team and then get cut. There are a lot of reasons why a recruit could get cut from a team but one of the most common reasons are coach changes. If the coach says yes, you may want to look elsewhere.