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NCAA Rules

The National Collegiate Athletic Association — a non-profit organization regulating student-athletes during their experience playing a sport in college — has many specific rules from signing dates to grade requirements. NCAA recruitment begins during high school, but the starting and committing dates of the process differ depending on the person and the sport. In total 1,117 colleges work with and abide by NCAA rules. Here are some of the rules found on the NCAA website to keep in mind while going through the recruitment process:


RULE #1: No more than five official visits.

  • NCAA allows potential commits, or recruits, during junior and senior year to take five official visits and unlimited unofficial visits to college campuses. Visits to a school are considered official if the school pays for all of the expenses including food and transportation. While some students don’t use all of their visits, others wish they could visit more than their top five schools.
  • “I never even used all of my [officials] because all you really need is one and the right school,” senior and Northwest Missouri State football commit Deonte Carroll said. “But I think you should get as many officials as you want.”


RULE #2: Visits

  • Recruits are not allowed to take official or unofficial visits until Sept. 1 of their junior year. However, they are allowed on campus if no contact with a potential coach has been made and the visit doesn’t include touring any of the school’s athletics facilities.
  • “I saw [Pepperdine’s] campus at a soccer camp this summer but I am not allowed to see the facilities and the locker room,” sophomore and Pepperdine soccer commit Caroline Coleman said. “Not being able to see that stuff wasn’t a deal breaker for me to commit without seeing it.”


RULE #3: Register with NCAA Eligibility Center

  • During the recruitment process it’s important to make sure to register through the NCAA website to be eligible to play a sport in college. Registering includes providing information about grades as well as paying an $80 fee. Recruits can register anytime although it’s not required until junior year.
  • “If you want to sign you have to be signed up to be eligible,” junior basketball recruit Kathleen Stanley said. “Also when you input your athletics and academics into their center it helps them keep up with your high school status whether academics or athletic and watch your progress.”


RULE #4: National Letter of Intent

  • If a recruit commits to a school prior to their senior year, they’re only allowed to verbally commit, meaning they haven’t signed their National Letter of Intent and the commitment is non-binding. After Sept. 1 of a student’s senior year athletes can officially sign. This school year, National Signing days were held on Nov. 14 and April 17.
  • “It’s good that you don’t sign until your senior year because for the people who commit when they are younger, their commitment isn’t set in stone,” sophomore and Illinois volleyball commit Sarah Bingham said. “On the flip side, there are some colleges that are known for pulling scholarships on the team from verbally committed kids before they sign because they found someone else.”


RULE #5: Eligibility

  • Eligibility for a sport requires students to meet the standard academic requirements. In order to be eligible to compete in a sport at the collegiate level, athletes must graduate high school and meet the specific college’s minimum SAT or ACT requirement.
  • “I think it’s fair and makes sense because it doesn’t give the athletes any advantage during the admission process,” senior tennis recruit Hayden Leatherwood said.


RULE #6: Send a high school transcript

  • Before going to visit a school, an athlete must have their high school transcript on hand or have it submitted prior to the visit. Schools use the transcript to make sure a student is a good fit academically and have taken the necessary classes.
  • “[High school transcripts] show your grades,” senior and Pittsburg State track commit Destiny Ray said. “Your scores on ACT or SAT that may be crucial for you to get into that certain college.”

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Allison Wilcox

Allison Wilcox is a sophomore going into her second semester on staff. In addition to Harbinger she is involved in tennis and SHARE at East. While she’s not working on newspaper you can find her hanging out with friends or driving through Chik-fil-a. »

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