The NCAA has implemented new recruiting rules with the intent to allow prospective student-athletes more time to
navigate their options and to limit the number of recruits getting verbal offers as eighth graders, freshman, and
sophomores in high school. The main focus on the new rules, as it pertains to prospective student-athletes, relates to
official and unofficial visits, as well as athletic camps.
As a refresher, official visits are paid for (in whole or in part) by an institution and cannot exceed 48 hours in
length. Expenses covered can include transportation to and from the university, lodging, meals, and three admissions to
a home athletic contest, as well as reasonable entertainment. A prospect is allowed to take a maximum of five official
visits, with no more than one permitted to any single university. In contrast, unofficial visits are paid for entirely
by the prospect/prospectís family, and there is no limit to how may visits they can take to an institution. During these
visits a prospect can meet with the team, tour athletics facilities, and meet with the coaches and athletic department
staff members. The only expense a prospect may receive during an unofficial visit to a Division I university is three
complimentary admissions to a home athletic contest.
Here are the updated NCAA recruiting rules:
1. Official visits can now begin September 1 of a prospectís junior year of high school instead of the
previously designated first day of classes of a prospectís senior year. The prospects are still limited to a maximum of
five official visits.
2. Unofficial visits are not allowed until September 1 of a prospectís junior year of high school,
whereas in the past, they were allowed at any time (except during a dead period) and regardless of graduation year.
3. Prospective recruits and college coaches are not allowed to have any recruiting conversations during camps prior
to September 1 of the prospectís junior year in high school. Previously, a coach could discuss his interest in a recruit
and even make verbal offers at camps to prospects who had yet to enter their junior year of high school.
Prior to the newly adopted rules, it was commonplace for freshman and sophomores in high school (eighth graders in
some cases) to have unofficial visits to campuses and meet with coaches and current players on the team. Now, the only
opportunity for prospects who havenít yet started their junior year to meet with coaches is by attending a camp of those
respective coaches. However, recruiting conversations are not allowed to take place during these camps if the prospect
has yet to begin his junior year in high school.
Additionally, itís important to remember that all prospects who have yet to begin their junior year are still allowed
to initiate calls and written correspondence to college coaches. However, Division I coaches cannot reply, with the
exception of an athletic questionnaire, prior to September 1 of the prospectís junior year. Also, if you have not yet
started your junior year in high school, youíre still able to visit a campus but are simply not allowed to meet with the
coach or anyone in the athletic department during the visit. You could, however, take a campus tour like any interested
student or meet with anyone in the admissions office. Remember, college coaches are still able to contact your high
school coach, swing instructor, head pro at your golf course, or the like prior to your junior year in high school.
Understanding the updated NCAA recruiting rules will enable you to continue to be proactive in your search for a
best-fit university and properly navigate the recruiting process.
Road to College Golf