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NCAA Recruiting Rules: When Can College Coaches Contact High School Athletes

IMG football coach

Navigating the NCAA recruiting rules, particularly regarding when college coaches can initiate contact with athletes, can be challenging. When can college coaches start contacting their athletes? For most sports, coaches can begin reaching out to athletes starting June 15 after sophomore year or September 1 of their junior year of high school.

More specifically, coach contact depends on your sport, age, division level and the type of communication. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you understand when you can expect to start hearing from college coaches, based on your sport and desired division level.

Insider Tip: While neither athletes nor coaches can initiate phone conversations until June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year, college coaches are still going to build their recruiting classes prior to that date through online research, attending events and communicating with athletes’ coaches. Having an online profile is critical for athletes to get evaluated early. Create your profile today.

Updated NCAA recruiting rules change the timing for certain recruiting activities

In 2019, the NCAA approved a new set of rules that changed the way Division 1 college coaches can recruit athletes during camps and visits. In an effort to streamline communications and cut back on early recruiting, coaches have to wait on giving scholarship offers to athletes until after their sophomore year of high school. Here’s a quick breakdown of these changes:

When can Division 1 coaches contact athletes?

Generally speaking, D1 coaches can send athletes nonrecruiting material like non-recruiting questionnaires, camp brochures, and non-athletic institutional publications at any time. Serious recruiting contact begins either June 15 after sophomore year or September 1 of junior year, depending on the sport and division level.

Insider Tip: You can always communicate with college coaches through their club or high school coach and send emails and texts to coaches. Note, you won’t get a direct response from coaches until your sport’s contact period begins.

READ MORE: A Parent’s Guide to Navigating Junior Year Recruiting

Division 1 football NCAA recruiting rules

READ MORE: Student-athletes can earn money from their name, image and likeness (NIL).

Division 1 men’s basketball NCAA recruiting rules

Division 1 women’s basketball NCAA recruiting rules

Division 1 men’s ice hockey NCAA recruiting rules

Division 1 women’s ice hockey NCAA recruiting rules

Division 1 swimming and diving NCAA recruiting rules

Division 1 men’s and women’s lacrosse NCAA recruiting rules

Division 1 women’s gymnastics NCAA recruiting rules

Division 1 men’s wrestling NCAA recruiting rules

Division 1 softball NCAA recruiting rules

Division 1 baseball NCAA recruiting rules

All other Division 1 sports NCAA recruiting rules

When can Division 2 coaches contact athletes?

The NCAA Recruiting Rules for Division 2 schools are slightly more relaxed than those for Division 1, and the rules are the same across all sports:

When can Division 3 coaches contact athletes?

D3 schools have the most relaxed NCAA recruiting rules of all the division levels. Similar to NCAA D2, they are the same for all sports:

Stay organized

Keep your recruiting process on track by using our guide to managing the recruiting process. Get familiar with key recruiting milestones and download recruiting checklists for each step of the way!