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What Is the NCAA Dead Period?

The most restrictive of all the recruiting periods is the NCAA Dead Period. During the dead period, coaches may not have any in-person contact with recruits and/or their parents. In other words, coaches are not allowed to talk to recruits at their college campus, the athlete’s school, an athletic camp or even the grocery store.

While the term “dead period” makes it seem like all recruiting stops during this time, that’s actually not the case. Athletes and coaches are still allowed to communicate via phone, email, social media and other digital communication channels. While NCAA Division 1 programs are prohibited from conducting any in-person recruiting, D1 college coaches can still contact student-athletes via digital forms of communication during the dead period. In this video, we debunk common misconceptions around the NCAA recruiting dead period and contact rules.

Take a look at our NCAA recruiting rules to learn more about the different ways athletes and coaches can communicate. The goal of the NCAA Dead Period is to give athletes a little bit of time and breathing room to think about what school they want to sign with.

Learn how college coaches continue to recruit during the most restrictive recruiting period on the NCAA recruiting calendar.

Managing Your Recruiting During a Dead Period

While recent developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic impact more than just sports and recruiting, we’re dedicated to helping student-athletes and their families navigate the changing landscape of recruiting during this time.

To help student-athletes manage their recruiting, we’ve created a recruiting guide for all college-bound athletes to follow during the next few weeks. Whether you’re wondering how to efficiently use your downtime due to a canceled sports season, need to work on your time-management skills as you transition from high school classes to online learning or are trying to figure out strategies to stay healthy and positive—physically and mentally—during this time, check out our tips for managing your athletic recruiting process below.

Download our guide to managing your recruiting here.

Use this guide to help you stay on track athletically and academically during a dead period.

Update your NCSA recruiting profile.

Give your profile a fresh look by uploading a new highlight/skills video and a recent transcript. You can also add your GPA, test scores and key athletic stats to make sure coaches see and evaluate your most recent accomplishments.

Draft a new personal statement.

This is a great time to show college coaches your character. Stand out from the crowd by demonstrating your commitment to your sport and that you’re taking on this new challenge head-on.

Research college rosters.

College rosters provide insights on the types of athletes coaches want to recruit, where they recruit and if they’re recruiting your position soon.

Add colleges to your target list.

Make sure you have a good mix of safety, target and dream schools. If you’re not sure where to start, check out your Coach Activity Report or your Top Matches for schools that may be a good fit.

Take a virtual college tour.

The best way to narrow down your preferences and figure out what you want your college experience to be like is by checking out a college campus—and it’s easy to do online!

Connect with coaches on social media.

Following a coach or athletic program on Twitter or Instagram is a great way to get regular updates and a behind-the-scenes look at what competing on a college team is really like.

Email college coaches.

Coaches are relying on digital communication more than ever, and messaging coaches is one of the best ways to stay in touch during this time. Check out our email tips to see how you can stand out in a crowded inbox.

Maximize your academic scholarship opportunities.

Dedicate some time each week for online learning and extra test prep. A high GPA and ACT/SAT scores can improve your admissions chances and ensure you’re NCAA eligible.

Maintain a regular workout schedule.

Sticking to your regular training routine can be difficult if you’re not in season, but make sure you’re getting some exercise in each day. Try walking/running, online or app-based video classes and even some creative workouts so you’ll be prepared once practice starts again!

Rest and recharge.

Whether it’s connecting with friends and family via video chat, getting creative with your workouts or just streaming your favorite show (we won’t judge!), set aside some time each day to help manage your stress and avoid burnout.

Insider Tip: Take a look at the upcoming official and unofficial visits you have lined up. Check those dates against your sport’s dead period. If any of your visits fall within the dead period window, reschedule them if possible. If you visit a school during this time, you will not be able to speak or meet with the coach. Meeting with the college coach is one of the most important aspects of an official or unofficial visit, so you want to make sure you’re visiting at a time that this is possible. Learn more about official visits and unofficial visits.

When is the NCAA Dead Period?

While the recruiting calendar varies by sport, the dead period usually takes place during the early signing period (for sports that have an early signing period), as well as at the beginning of the regular signing period. We’ve included the dates for each sport’s dead period below. Division III schools do not have designated dead periods.

Find your sport at the DI or DII level

Division I Bowl Subdivision Football Dead Periods

Division I Championship Subdivision Dead Periods

Division I Baseball Dead Periods

Division I Men’s Basketball Dead Periods

Division I Women’s Basketball Dead Periods

Division I Men’s/Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field Dead Periods

Division I Men’s Golf Dead Periods

Division I Men’s Lacrosse Dead Periods

Division I Women’s Lacrosse Dead Periods

Division I Women’s Volleyball Dead Periods

Division I Women’s Beach Volleyball Dead Periods

Division I Softball Dead Periods

Division I All Other Sports Dead Periods

Women’s Gymnastics Dead Periods

Men’s Ice Hockey Dead Periods

Women’s Ice Hockey Dead Periods

Men’s Soccer Dead Periods

Women’s Soccer Dead Periods

Wrestling Dead Periods

All Other Sports

Division II Football Dead Periods

Division II Men’s Basketball Dead Periods

Division II Women’s Basketball Dead Periods

Division II All Other Sports Dead Periods

Men’s lacrosse dead periods

Men’s wrestling and women’s wrestling dead periods

Other sports dead periods 

Insider tip: Despite the impact that coronavirus had on college sports, as of June 1, 2021, the NCAA resumed its regular recruiting rules and activity! Coaches are actively working to fill their rosters, so student-athletes should be proactive in reaching out to coaches. Read up on how the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes who were most affected by the pandemic in 2020 will impact future recruiting classes.

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