What’s Allowed and Not Allowed with the New Rules?

With many questions about new recruiting rules, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) refers to an NCAA document from July 13, 2017 that pertains to Lacrosse.  Here are excerpts of the document which is an Educational Column:

Question No. 1: What is a coach permitted to say if a prospective student-athlete initiates a call or contact with an institution’s coach prior to September 1 of the prospective student-athlete’s junior year?

Answer: The coach may not engage in any recruiting conversations. However, the coach may confirm the prospective student-athlete’s age, explain the recruiting rules and then must end the call or contact.

Question No. 2: During an institutional camp or clinic, may a coach have recruiting conversations with a lacrosse prospective student-athlete prior to September 1 of his or her junior year?

Answer:  No.

Question No. 3:  During an institutional camp or clinic, may a coach provide a campus tour to a lacrosse prospective student-athlete prior to September 1 of his or her junior year?

Answer:  Yes. A campus tour would be permissible; however, no recruiting conversations may occur.

Question No. 4:  During an institutional camp or clinic, may a coach provide an informational session about the recruiting process and the student-athlete experience to a lacrosse prospective student-athlete prior to September 1 of his or her junior year?

Answer: Yes. A general informational session would be permissible; however, no institution specific information may occur at these informational sessions. Recruiting conversations are not permissible.

Question No. 5: May an institution’s coach send recruiting messages through a prospective student athlete’s high school/club coach or another third party?

Answer:  No. If a coach cannot contact a prospective student-athlete directly, then he or she cannot send recruiting messages indirectly through a high school/club coach or another third party.

Question No. 6:  May an institution’s coach have evaluative conversations (e.g., regarding athletics ability) with a prospective student-athlete’s high school/club coach before September 1 of the prospective student-athlete’s junior year?

Answer: Yes. However, these conversations should not be used to indirectly send recruiting messages (e.g., verbal offer of aid) to a prospective student-athlete.

Examples of permissible evaluative conversation topics with a high school/club coach:

  • High school/club coach’s evaluation of the prospective student-athlete’s academics, athletic skills, speed, agility, personality, character, work ethic, coachability, etc.
  • Institution’s coach expression of general interest in the prospective student-athlete (e.g., We are interested in [name]).

Examples of impermissible evaluative conversation topics with a high school/club coach:

  • Confirming if the prospective student-athlete is on institution’s recruiting list, including his or her ranking on that list (e.g., “PSA is on our A-list/B-List”, “PSA is a top [#] prospect for us”, “PSA is our top goalie prospect”, etc.).
  • Institution’s coach providing an evaluation of the prospective student-athlete to the high school/club coach.
  • Requesting the high school/club coach tell the prospective student-athlete to:
    1. Send transcripts, report cards and/or scores to the college coach and/or staff; and/or
    2. Attend a camp where their college coach and/or staff will be present.
  • Asking if the prospective student-athlete is interested in the school, including the level of interest.
  • Any discussion with high school/club coach of potential financial aid or athletic scholarship offers.
  • Setting up future phone calls or visits for the prospective student-athlete.

Question No. 7:  May a college coach have an evaluative conversation with a high school/club coach with the prospective student-athlete listening to the conversation?

Answer:   No. This would be using a high school/club coach to circumvent the recruiting rule prohibiting contact with a prospective student athlete until September 1 of junior year.

Question No. 8:  May an institution’s coach ask a high school/club coach to inform his or her team of the recruiting legislation?

Answer:  Yes.

Question No. 9:  Are institution’s coaches still permitted to make calls related to camps and clinics logistics prior to September 1 of the prospective student-athlete’s junior year?

Answer:  Yes. The content of the calls must be limited to camp logistics and may not include recruiting content.

Question No. 10: May a younger sibling (a prospective student-athlete who is not yet a junior) accompany an older sibling on an unofficial or official visit?

Answer:  Yes, provided no recruiting conversation occurs with the younger sibling.

Notice about Educational Columns: Educational columns and hot topics are intended to assist the membership with the correct application of legislation and/or interpretations by providing clarifications, reminders and examples. They are based on legislation and official and staff interpretations applicable at the time of publication. Therefore, educational columns and hot topics are binding to the extent that the legislation and interpretations on which they are based remain applicable. Educational columns are posted on a regular basis to address a variety of issues and hot topics are posted as necessary in order to address timely issues.

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