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Recruiting/Scouting Service Definition, Legislation and Requirements

Definition of a Recruiting and Scouting Service

A recruiting or scouting service includes any individual, organization, entity or segment of an entity that primarily provides information about prospective student-athletes. 

This definition does not include any individual, organization, entity or segment of an entity that primarily provides information about prospective student-athletes incidental to its primary purpose and is generally available to the public (e.g., news media).

Definition of a Subscription

An institution subscribes to a recruiting or scouting service when a staff member registers to access information provided by the service only to paid subscribers or registers to access information available only to a select group of individuals (e.g., coaches), regardless of whether a charge is associated with accessing the information. However, an institution is not considered to have subscribed to a recruiting or scouting service if a staff member registers to access information about prospective student-athletes from a service that provides the same information to the general public at no cost.

  • NCAA Bylaw Recruiting or Scouting Services - Basketball and Football
  • NCAA Bylaw Video-Only Services
  • NCAA Bylaw Talent Evaluation Services and Agents
  • Other:
    • Fee Rate By Division - Inasmuch as the same information must be provided at the same fee rate for all subscribers, a service is prohibited from providing information regarding prospective student-athletes to institutions at various fees based on the institution's membership division.
    • Individual Analysis - Information disseminated by a recruiting or scouting service must include individual analysis beyond demographics (e.g., height, weight, class, position), ranking (e.g., Division I prospective student-athlete) and general comments (e.g., excellent shooter) in order for an institution to make an athletics or academic analysis of the prospective student-athlete.  Each prospect named in the service is required to be evaluated.

Approval Requirements

Recruiting/scouting services are at minimum required to:

  • Identify all fee rates;
  • Charge the same fee rate for all subscribers;
  • Publish information quarterly;
  • Provide individual analysis of each prospect beyond demographic information or ranking; and
  • Provide sample reports to institutions.

Scouting Services Approvals are only granted to services that do currently exist at the time of the open application period. Approval is based on how the service operates, not how the operator promises to operate the service.

Approved scouting services may use the following language to promote the NCAA approval: “NCAA Division I football and/or basketball coaches are permitted to subscribe to this recruiting/scouting service. For more information, visit basketball-certification/scouting-services.” but only after the application has been posted as approved in the Scouting Service Approval System (SSS) and approval notifications have been sent after which the service is included on the list available to the NCAA membership posted on REMINDER: NCAA certification/approval does NOT permit the activity/organization to use the NCAA logo, brand or trademarks when promoting your event/league/team/scouting service. This includes, but is not limited to, the name of the service, use of the blue disk, or use of NCAA trademarked terms (i.e., March Madness. Final Four, Big Dance, etc.).