You are here

DI SAAC provides early recruiting feedback

SAAC develops suggested new recruiting model

Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee members have developed a potential recruiting model for all sports that would give students more time to make decisions about where they want to go to school.

The group will provide its recommendations to the Division I Student-Athlete Experience Committee, which is studying the issue.

SAAC’s co-chair, Connor Donnelly, who holds a degree in marketing and sport management from Sacred Heart, where he played golf, believes the changes would benefit student-athletes.

“SAAC came out with a model that makes a difference in the recruiting landscape,” Donnelly said after SAAC’s meeting this week in Indianapolis. “It will take some pressure off prospective student-athletes mentally by giving them more time to develop and make an educated and informed decision in the long term.”

SAAC targeted three areas pertinent to recruiting: recruting communications, unoffical visits and athletics scholarship offers.

Recruiting communications

SAAC’s conversations focused on communication between coaches and high school athletes. Members recommended:

  • Coaches should not contact prospective student-athletes before ninth grade.
  • Prospective student-athletes could contact coaches before Jan. 1 of 10th grade, but coaches couldn’t initiate contact.
  • Beginning Jan. 1 of 10th grade, schools and coaches could send unlimited text messages and emails to prospective student-athletes, including information about athletics scholarship offers. Telephone calls and verbal commitments should not be allowed.
  • In 11th grade, schools and coaches should be able to make unlimited phone calls with prospective student-athletes.

Unofficial visits

The SAAC will recommend that unofficial visits, paid for by the prospective student-athlete, be allowed during ninth grade and may include coordination with the athletics department.

Athletics scholarship offers

  • Committee members made a series of recommendations regarding when offers of athletics aid should be extended and accepted. During ninth grade, schools should not be able to speak with prospective student-athletes about scholarship offers.
  • Verbal athletics scholarship commitments should not be allowed until Jan. 1 of a prospect’s 11th-grade year.
  • The National Letter of Intent signing period should begin in November (December for football) of a prospective college athlete’s senior year and remain open until Aug. 1 as one signing period.