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Pathway to College Soccer Series: Part 2

Article Written by Christopher Stack
Published: June 10, 2019

Preparing for June 15th

For the second summer in a row the NCAA has made changes to its recruiting rules and regulations in regards to first contact and unofficial and official visits.  And now prospective student-athletes and college coaches are adjusting to the new rules. The new rules affect the 2021 recruiting classes but will have more impact on 2022 and beyond.   The new rules were adopted to curb early recruiting and allow prospective student-athletes to focus more on their academics and becoming a better player than worry about where they are going to go to college in their freshman and sophomore years.  

What are the new rules?

The new rules adopted by the NCAA (effective May 1, 2019) apply to all Division I sports except for football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, softball, and men’s and women’s lacrosse. The new rules limit the communication between college coaches and prospective student-athletes. Prospective Student-Athletes are still permitted to send emails to college coaches at any time.

  • No communication between an athlete and coach until June 15 of / after sophomore year.

  • No verbal offers or commitments from student-athletes until June 15 of / after sophomore year.

  • No official or unofficial visits until August 1 of junior year. (You may make an unofficial visit on your own accord but you may not have any interaction with athletic department staff; ie College Coach)

  • No off-campus contact until August 1 of junior year.

  • No recruiting conversations at or during camps or clinics.

*The June 15th contact date was originally September 1 of junior year.*

Coach communication Prior to the new rule, coaches were prohibited from initiating contact with a PSA before September 1 but a PSA could initiate a phone call allowing coaches to have a recruiting conversation if they picked up the phone.  Now underclassmen can’t engage in any communication with a Division I coach until June 15 after sophomore year. This includes any phone, text, or DM social media communication between a parent or athlete and a coach. Student-Athletes are permitted to email college coaches, they will not get a response until after June 15th of / after sophomore year.

Campus Visit The opportunity to visit a college and get a feel of what campus life is an important part of the college decision.  Now that both unofficial and official visits are prohibited until August 1 of junior year it should slow down the commitment race we have been in for so long.   However, PSA’s can still go visit a college on their own dime prior to August 1, go on an Admissions Tour and see the campus but must not have any interaction with a college coach.

Since visits are not permitted until August 1 of junior year, but communication with coaches is allowed on June 15 after sophomore year, it is likely that a lot of the communication between PSA’s and college coaches will revolve around trying to set up a campus visit if there is mutual interest. Many recruits will be preparing to go on college visits starting August 1 and may try to take several visits before school is back in session for junior year.

Camps and clinics: College ID Camps will still be a valuable tool for prospective student-athletes and college coaches. PSA’s and college coaches are not allowed to have any recruiting conversations during camps prior to June 15 after sophomore year of high school. Recruiting conversations have not been allowed at camps since last year's reules were put into place.

Early offers and commitments: There were never any written rules on when a college coach could make an offer to a prospective student-athlete, but those days are gone. The new rules state that there cannot be any recruiting conversations prior to June 15, so in turn it’s impossible for a recruit to verbally commit to a school before then.  

GFS Tip: Understanding and following these rules will be in your best interest because if a coach tries to find loopholes and contact you it could potentially cost you your eligibility.

Class of 2020 - Rising Seniors

June 15th is knocking on the door.  Are you prepared? At this point you should have built a list of schools that you are interested in and contacted those college coaches via email.  If you haven’t contacted any coaches yet here is what you should do.

  • Introduction Letter -  This will be coaches 1st impression of you.   

    • Who you are?

    • Express interest in the school program

    • Why the coach should recruit you /  How you could be an asset to the program?

  • Student-Athlete Profile -  Your player resume

  • Recruiting Video - 3 -5 minute video showing a wide range of skills

  • Social Media - Coaches will search for you on social media, so be upfront and provide the information.  

* Learn how to use Twitter as your Online Profile*

Class of 2021 - Rising Juniors

While you are prohibited from interacting with college coaches there is still a lot you can be doing to prepare for June 15 2020.  College coaches are constantly compiling a list of potential recruits to approach come June 15. They are attending college showcase tournaments and camps identifying and evaluating prospects.  What do you need to do to make sure your on the coaches radar?

Your One-Year Time Line

  • Make the Commitment (Academics, Athletics, and to the Process

  • Discover Your Why’s

  • Educate yourself about the process

  • Build a List of Schools (Research Research Research)

  • Contact Colleges (Recruiting Questionnaires and Email Coaches)

  • Attend Showcases, Camps, and Clinics

Class of 2022 - Rising Sophomores

You haven’t even started your first day of high school yet and we are here talking about college.  I recommend trying to not focus on that for a while. However, it’s important you understand that your grades matter in your freshman year especially in your core classes (ie  English, Math, Science, Social Science, etc). We will learn more about being academically eligible in a later installment.

Start the process early (at least 3 months prior to first contact date; March of sophomore year) in order to educate yourself, research schools, and contact college coaches. As you learn how the process works behind the scenes, you can begin to form your game plan, promoting your academic and athletic achievements to successfully attract coaches and schools you are interested in. The college search process is a journey full of adventure. Be sure to explore all of your options. Keep an open mind. Do your homework and seek out the appropriate help to find the answers you need. It is your future. You’re worth it.

You can get started on your college search and college recruiting journey by getting your copy of Designing Your Pathway to College Sports, whether you are freshman, sophomore, junior, or even senior it’s never too early or too late to start the recruiting process.

Discover the 50 questions every recruit should answer before committing to a school.

Visit www.GuidingFutureStarsAcademy to join the GFS Tribe and start learning about the college recruiting process the #GFSWay

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