Coach Communication Recruiting Dates

When Can College Coaches Contact Me? The Rules, By Sport

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(Flickr – David Goehring)

Can I write this? Should I post that? Will this pic on Insta make me look good?

There are a lot of different voices telling you what you should or shouldn’t post to social media, or how to contact college coaches. Because with few opportunities to meet you in person, it’s in these online interactions–or in your online profile–that college coaches can get a sense of who you are and how you would fit into their roster.

With the regular signing period starting tomorrow, many Class of 2015 students are making formal the verbal commitments they might have made earlier this year, or last fall, or even earlier.

(Remember to let us know you signed with #ISignedToday–and whether you’re signing or not, grab a free pen to show your dedication to playing sports in college.)

How come only student-athletes have to watch what they post?

Actually, there’s a flip side of the rules that guide our online behavior. Just like student-athletes need to be careful about what they write, snap or vine, coaches need to make sure they’re falling in line with the rules and regulations for the NCAA or NAIA, for their division and for their school.

And if you thought it was nerve-wracking to write an email to a coach, just imagine what it’s like to keep all of these rules in line. Here are the recruiting rules and timelines for when recruits can receive contact from Division I coaches, as well as the types of contact allowed.

(You can find more extensive lists on our website but, since NCAA DI regulations are usually the most restrictive, we’re going with them. DII, DIII and NAIA college coaches might be able to contact you earlier, or without any restrictions, depending on the sport.)

When can college coaches contact me?

Men’s Basketball

June 15 following the student-athlete’s sophomore year: Coaches can make phone calls and send emails, fax, text messages, instant messages, gchats, and direct messages on Facebook and Twitter.

Women’s Basketball

September 1 of the student-athlete’s junior year: Coaches can make phone calls and send emails, fax, text messages, instant messages, gchats, and direct messages on Facebook and Twitter.

Football

September 1 of the student-athlete’s junior year: Coaches can send emails, fax and direct messages on Facebook and Twitter.*

Phone calls are weird for football coaches. They can make one call between April 15 and May 31 of a student’s junior year. After September 1 of senior year, they can make calls whenever they want during contact periods, but only one call a week outside of contact periods.

Swimming & Diving

September 1 of the student-athlete’s junior year: Coaches can send emails, fax and direct messages on Facebook and Twitter.*

July 1 after the student-athlete’s junior year: Coaches can make phone calls once a week.

Track & Field/ XC

September 1 of the student-athlete’s junior year: Coaches can send emails, fax and direct messages on Facebook and Twitter.*

Like football coaches, track and cross country coaches have contact periods. After July 1 following a student’s junior year, they can make phone calls whenever they want during contact periods, but only one call a week outside of a contact period.

Men’s Ice Hockey

January 1 of the student-athlete’s sophomore year: Coaches can make phone calls and send emails, fax, text messages, instant messages, gchat, and direct messages on Facebook and Twitter.

All other sports

September 1 of the student-athlete’s junior year: Coaches can make phone calls and send emails, fax, text messages, instant messages, gchat, and direct messages on Facebook and Twitter.

*Why can’t coaches text recruits?

You might have noticed the asterisks for football, swimming and diving, and track/xc coaches. There’s an extra restriction (NCAA DI Recruiting 13.4.1.4.1 Exception, if you want to be technical) that prohibits any electronic communication between coaches and student-athletes or their families except emails and faxes.


You can always take control of the way coaches view you as a prospective athlete–and learn valuable tips and strategies from our national scouts– by creating an online profile.

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About the author
Andy McKernan

Andy McKernan is the content strategist at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. A content marketer with a background in creative writing, Andy brings several years of experience to NCSA.