What Are the Latest Changes to the NCAA Recruiting Rules (as of Spring 2018)?

Be aware of the updated NCAA rules so you can successfully navigate the recruiting process.

The NCAA has implemented new recruiting rules with the intent to allow prospective student-athletes more time to navigate their options and to limit the number of recruits getting verbal offers as eighth graders, freshman, and sophomores in high school. The main focus on the new rules, as it pertains to prospective student-athletes, relates to official and unofficial visits, as well as athletic camps.

As a refresher, official visits are paid for (in whole or in part) by an institution and cannot exceed 48 hours in length. Expenses covered can include transportation to and from the university, lodging, meals, and three admissions to a home athletic contest, as well as reasonable entertainment. A prospect is allowed to take a maximum of five official visits, with no more than one permitted to any single university. In contrast, unofficial visits are paid for entirely by the prospect/prospect’s family, and there is no limit to how may visits they can take to an institution. During these visits a prospect can meet with the team, tour athletics facilities, and meet with the coaches and athletic department staff members. The only expense a prospect may receive during an unofficial visit to a Division I university is three complimentary admissions to a home athletic contest.

Here are the updated NCAA recruiting rules:

    1. Official visits can now begin September 1 of a prospect’s junior year of high school instead of the previously designated first day of classes of a prospect’s senior year. The prospects are still limited to a maximum of five official visits.

    2. Unofficial visits are not allowed until September 1 of a prospect’s junior year of high school, whereas in the past, they were allowed at any time (except during a dead period) and regardless of graduation year.

    3. Prospective recruits and college coaches are not allowed to have any recruiting conversations during camps prior to September 1 of the prospect’s junior year in high school. Previously, a coach could discuss his interest in a recruit and even make verbal offers at camps to prospects who had yet to enter their junior year of high school.

Prior to the newly adopted rules, it was commonplace for freshman and sophomores in high school (eighth graders in some cases) to have unofficial visits to campuses and meet with coaches and current players on the team. Now, the only opportunity for prospects who haven’t yet started their junior year to meet with coaches is by attending a camp of those respective coaches. However, recruiting conversations are not allowed to take place during these camps if the prospect has yet to begin his junior year in high school.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that all prospects who have yet to begin their junior year are still allowed to initiate calls and written correspondence to college coaches. However, Division I coaches cannot reply, with the exception of an athletic questionnaire, prior to September 1 of the prospect’s junior year. Also, if you have not yet started your junior year in high school, you’re still able to visit a campus but are simply not allowed to meet with the coach or anyone in the athletic department during the visit. You could, however, take a campus tour like any interested student or meet with anyone in the admissions office. Remember, college coaches are still able to contact your high school coach, swing instructor, head pro at your golf course, or the like prior to your junior year in high school.

Understanding the updated NCAA recruiting rules will enable you to continue to be proactive in your search for a best-fit university and properly navigate the recruiting process.

Keep Swinging!

Ted Gleason

Road to College Golf


Coaches Finding & Evaluating Players

    What Should I Say When Calling a Coach to Decline a College Offer?
    How Do Coaches View Junior Golf Recruits Who Play Other Sports?
    When is the Best Time to Communicate with Coaches?
    When Should Junior Golf Prospects Expect to Receive Offers from College Coaches?
    Should I Communicate a Poor Performance to a College Coach?
    Are You Waiting for Tournament Success Before Contacting College Golf Coaches?
    Who Should Speak When Meeting with Coaches – Parents or the Student-Athlete?
    Do College Coaches Use Swing Videos To Evaluate Recruits?
    Do Coaches Really Care About Academics?
    Do You Have the Game to Play College Golf?
    How Do College Coaches Work Junior Tournaments?
    How Do College Golf Coaches Discover Talent?

Finding the Right School - Your "Best Fit"

    Are There Golf Opportunities in the NAIA?
    What Can You Learn from College Golf’s Post-Season Championships?
    How Do College Golf Scores Compare to Junior Golf Scores?
    How Do I Know Which Schools Are “Best Fits” for Me?
    How Do I Remain Proactive in Identifying My “Best Fit”?
    Is a Walk-On Opportunity the “Best Fit” for Me?
    What Are the Real Keys to a Successful College Golf Recruiting Experience?
    What Useful Information Can I Research on a Golf Team's Website?
    When Should Junior Golfers Begin Visiting and Researching Colleges?
    What’s the Story on Division II and Division III Golf Programs?
    Are Unofficial Visits to College Campuses Necessary?
    Should Junior Golfers Attend Collegiate Tournaments?
    Just How Big is College Golf?
    What questions should I ask a college coach during a campus visit?
    Where Should I Attend College to Study and Play Golf?

Playing in College

    How do teams qualify for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I Championships?
    How Do College Coaches Determine Who Makes the Traveling Squad: Qualifying Rounds, Coach’s Selection, or a Combination of Both?
    Repeating a Grade in High School or Pursuing a Post-Grad Year – Part Two
    Repeating a Grade in High School or Pursuing a Post-Grad Year – Part One
    Are College Golfers Expected to Take Part in a Conditioning Program?
    What’s the Story on Club Golf?
    What Is Your Ideal Time Commitment for Playing Golf in College?
    What Can You Expect From a College Golf Tournament?
    Are You Practicing to Play the Odds?
    Am I good enough to play Division I golf?
    What does it mean to Redshirt?
    How Do I Prepare for my Freshman Year in College?
    How Important Is Time Management for Student-Athletes at the Collegiate Level?
    What Is a Typical Week Like in the Life of a College Golfer?
    Is College Golf an Individual Sport?
    What are the main differences between junior golf and college golf?
    What Commitment Level is Necessary for Junior Golfers to Become Successful Collegiate Student-Athletes?

Playing Junior Golf

    Should I Play in Junior Golf Tournaments During the Winter Months?
    Do You Know the Rules of Amateur Status?
    What Academic Habits Are Essential for a High School Student-Athlete?
    Are There Benefits to Playing on a High School Golf Team?
    Is playing a practice round important?
    Is There More to Golf Than a Score?
    You Have Completed the College Placement Process—Now What?
    Is It a Good Idea To Withdraw After a Poor Round?
    How Can a Junior Golfer Improve Practice Sessions?

Promoting Yourself – Being Visible

    Are You Being an Effective Self-Advocate?
    With spring around the corner, am I staying active in the college recruiting process?
    What Should Junior Golfers Do Before Their High School Years To Start Pursuing College Golf?
    How Can Golf Recruits Maximize Visibility Among College Coaches?
    When and How Should I Initiate a Phone Call to a College Coach?
    Is Your Written Communication to Coaches Sending the Right Message?
    What Information Should Prospects Send to College Golf Coaches?
    Will Playing AJGA Events Increase My Chances of Earning a College Scholarship?
    What Should Recruits Say When Coaches Call Them?
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 2
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 1

Recruiting & Scholarships

    What Are the Latest Changes to the NCAA Recruiting Rules (as of Spring 2018)?
    Do You Know Where You Stand in the Recruiting Process?
    Do College Golf Camps Provide a Recruiting Edge?
    Can My Social Media Activity Affect How I am Recruited?
    How Should I Respond When a Coach Makes an Offer?
    How Do the NCAA’s Recent Rules Changes Affect You?
    Is the College Recruiting Process Putting Too Much Pressure on You?
    When Should I Apply to Colleges?
    What is the Purpose of the NCAA Eligibility Center?
    What Is a Parent’s Role During a Campus Visit?
    What Should I Do if I Didn’t Sign a National Letter of Intent in the Early Signing Period?
    What Questions Should I Be Prepared to Answer During a Campus Visit?
    What Are the Most Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Scholarships?
    How do I know if a School is Really Interested in Recruiting Me?
    How do Players Verbally Commit to Schools so Early in the Process?
    As a Rising Senior Is It Too Late To Be Recruited?
    What is a Parent's Role in the Recruiting Process?
    When Should Junior Golfers Sign the NLI?
    What is a Full Scholarship?