You are here

Council introduces early recruiting proposals

Measures would create tiered recruiting approach

The Division I Council introduced into the legislative cycle two proposals that would change the recruiting rules to better align the student-athlete’s college search with that of the general student body. The Council met Oct. 2-3 in Indianapolis.

The first proposal addresses early recruiting in sports other than football and basketball, and the second created a separate structure for men’s ice hockey recruiting. The proposals create a phased recruiting approach that allows coaches to build relationships with prospective student-athletes through phone calls and other types of communication before allowing for visits and off-campus contact. Both proposals are the culmination of a two-year study on early recruiting undertaken by a subcommittee of the Student-Athlete Experience Committee.

The proposal for most sports would allow communication – either from or to a coach – June 15 after the sophomore year of high school and would move the recently adopted Sept. 1 date for visits to Aug. 1 before the junior year of high school. The committee recognized the importance of hosting prospective student-athletes and showcasing a school’s home football game and other games occurring in August. The Aug. 1 before the junior year aligns with the men’s basketball recruiting model and proposed timeline for men’s ice hockey.  

The men’s ice hockey proposal would allow telephone calls, text messages and other similar contact as well as unofficial visits to begin Jan. 1 of a prospective student-athlete’s sophomore year in high school. Official visits and other off-campus contacts would be permitted beginning Aug. 1 before the junior year in high school. The committee decided to create the alternative process for men’s ice hockey after extensive collaboration with the men’s ice hockey coaches association. This proposal recognizes the unique professional opportunities available in the sport and allows prospective student-athletes to make informed decisions regarding the opportunity to pursue collegiate or professional hockey.

Justin Sell, chair of the Student-Athlete Experience Committee and athletics director at South Dakota State, said the legislation will create a simpler, uniform recruiting process for student-athletes in most sports.

“If adopted, these changes would better align the college choice process for student-athletes with the regular student body and make significant progress to curb early recruiting,” Sell said.  “We think this is a tremendous improvement in moving recruiting to a more reasonable time.”

Both proposals will enter the regular legislative cycle where the membership will consider and provide feedback, and the Council will vote on them by April 2019. If adopted, both proposals would be effective immediately.