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NCAA D1 Rule Changes

NCAA D1 Rule Changes as of May 1, 2019
 

There are nine new NCAA Division I recruiting rules that have been passed by the NCAA Division I Council and go into effect May 1, 2019, effective immediately. To help prepare and educate student-athletes, families, and clubs about these rules, we are providing the new legislation and what these mean to the athlete and her recruiting process.

You’ll notice that for volleyball, instead of the popular date of September 1 before a prospective student-athlete’s (PSA) junior year, the rules have moved toward slightly earlier June 15 and August 1 dates. In short, here are the new rules under each date (more below):

June 15 – Talking on the phone to the coach (a PSA’s incoming and outgoing phone calls); receiving electric correspondence and recruiting materials

August 1 – Having off-campus contact; recruiting conversations at camp; going on unofficial and official visits

These sound like a lot of restrictions and the rules are intended on pushing back the recruiting process for younger players. We’ve talked to many college and club coaches about how this may affect the process and have gathered that PSAs can look at this with a couple of different perspectives:

1) “I will feel bad if no Division I program is interested and then I will be rushed to learn about programs and to make a decision once I’m entering my junior year.”; or 2) “The decision is in my hands and I can focus on high school and club volleyball, my studies, and learning about myself before being bombarded with messages about college – much like my (non-athlete) classmates!”

Additionally, it is up to each individual conference in Division I athletics to interpret and adopt the rules for their specific conference… this means there may be some variation in how programs carry out the rules – what their camp plans are, how they communicate with club coaches, etc. That shouldn’t be a PSA’s concern.

Important Note: If a PSA wants to submit a college recruiting announcement to us at PrepVolleyball.com prior to June 15 after her sophomore year, please confirm that the offer was made before May 1, 2019. We’re not interested in getting anyone in trouble with NCAA violations.

Below, we offer each of the nine NCAA legislative rules that have gone into effect as of May 1. We also include what the previous rule was and give some commentary about what this means for a Division I volleyball PSA, their families, and their recruiting process.

(Please note that these rules are for Division I programs, only. These written rules are the abbreviated version of each. To view the language in full, visit the NCAA website and search the administrative bylaws, here.)

***

Division I Proposal 2018-93: Recruiting – Recruiting Model – Sports Other Than Baseball, Basketball, Football, Men’s Ice Hockey, and Softball

Intent, as noted by the NCAA: In sports other than baseball, basketball, football, men’s ice hockey, and softball, to revise legislation related to contacts; telephone calls; recruiting materials; official and unofficial visits; financial aid agreements; and camps and clinics, as specified.

(Note: The new rule has been bolded and the previous rule is in parentheses and italicized below.)

Bylaw 13.1.3.2.4 Telephone Calls From an Individual – In sports other than baseball, basketball, football, and men’s ice hockey, an institutional staff member may not receive telephone calls from an individual (or his or her family members) before June 15 at the conclusion of his or her sophomore year in high school.

(Previous Rule: In lacrosse and softball… before September 1 at the beginning of his or her junior year)

Notes: Before in volleyball, a PSA could pick up the phone and call a DI coach at any time in her recruiting process and a coach could answer. Now, the rule is that a coach will not be permitted to answer a PSA’s phone call until June 15 after a PSA’s sophomore year/before a PSA’s junior year, whether she has already committed or not. How will they be able to tell? Well, some compliance offices monitor call logs closely, and other times, unfortunately, some others will make poor ethical decisions and do it anyway. If a PSA does call before June 15 after her sophomore year, it may be something where the coach answers a number he or she doesn’t recognize, finds out who it is, and says, “What is your graduation year? Oh, a sophomore or younger before June 15? We can’t talk.” The End. Alternatively, young recruits will simply speak to answering machines or email without a response.

 

Date-Specific Changes – June 15

Bylaw 13.4.1 Recruiting Materials and Electronic Correspondence – General Rule. An institution shall not provide recruiting materials, including general correspondence related to athletics, or send electronic correspondence to an individual (or his or her family members) until June 15 at the conclusion of his or her sophomore year in high school.

(Previous Rule: …until September 1 at the beginning of his or her junior year in high school.)

Note: That’s two and a half additional months to provide a PSA information about a school, possibly in conjunction with phone calls and in preparation for scholarship conversations and offers.

 

Bylaw 13.1.3.1 Time Period for Telephone Calls – General Rule. Telephone calls to an individual (or his or her family members) may not be made before June 15 at the conclusion of his or her sophomore year in high school (subject to the exception below).

(Previous Rule: September 1 at the beginning of his or her junior year)

Notes: To go along with 13.1.3.2.3 above, a college coach will be able to call a PSA before the former September 1 date. The date a phone call to a Division I college coach may be made has now been pushed back into the summer on June 15 before a PSA’s junior year in high school. (Just in time for a call saying perhaps, “Hello, I can’t wait to see you at 17s Nationals and camp!”)

 

Date-Specific Changes – August 1

Bylaw 13.12.1.5.1 Exception – Recruiting Conversations. In sports other than baseball, basketball and football, recruiting conversations during an institutional camp or clinic (including a camp or clinic that involves only individuals who are not yet prospective student-athletes) are not permitted between an institution’s coach and a participating individual before August 1 at the beginning of the individual’s junior year in high school.

(Previous Rule: September 1)

Notes: Speaking of camp, you may see a few camps and clinics sprinkled throughout the year due to this exception to the rule. These camps must be advertised to any and all and may only be restricted by the number of campers, age, and grade level. A college coach may call a PSA before the June 15 date only to discuss camp logistics. When she is at the camp, recruiting conversations cannot be held at camp until August 1 of a PSA’s junior year.

 

Bylaw 13.1.5.1 In sports other than football, baseball, basketball, and men’s ice hockey, each institution is limited to seven recruiting opportunities (contacts and evaluations combined) per prospective student-athlete per year (see Bylaw 13.1.5.7). Beginning August 1 at the start of a prospective student-athlete’s junior year of high school, not more than three of the seven opportunities per year may be off-campus contacts at any site and shall include contacts with the prospective student-athlete’s family members, but shall not include contacts made during an official visit per Bylaw 13.6 or an unofficial visit per Bylaw 13.7.5.

(Previous Rule: In sports other than football, basketball, men’s ice hockey, lacrosse, softball, and wrestling… During the senior year of high school, not more than three of the seven opportunities may be off-campus contacts…)

 

Bylaw 13.1.1.1 Time Period for Off-Campus Contacts – General Rule. Off-campus recruiting contacts shall not be made with an individual (or his or her family members) before August 1 at the beginning of his or her junior year in high school.

(Previous Rule: July 1 following the completion of his or her juniors year)

Note: An “off-campus contact” may include a home visit, in-person conversation away from the college campus including at a tournament (See 2018-45, below), or any face-to-face contact that is more than just a passing “hello.” Again, this is to stay consistent with the August 1 recruiting date to ensure the conversations outside of campus don’t wander into murky (and illegal!) waters.

Bylaw 13.6.2.1.1 In sports other than baseball, basketball, and football, a prospective student-athlete may not be provided an expense-paid visit earlier than August 1 of his or her junior year in high school.

(Previous Rule: September 1)

Bylaw 13.7.1.1 In sports other than baseball, basketball and football, an unofficial visit with athletic department involvement (e.g., contact with athletics department staff, athletics-specific tour, complimentary admission) shall not occur with an individual (or his or her family members) before August 1 at the beginning of his or her junior year in high school.

(Previous Rule: September 1)

Note: An official visit (which a college can provide payment for) as well as an unofficial visit (where the student-athlete’s family pays to visit), will move ahead one month, again avoiding a preseason clash for both the Division I program as well as the PSA.

Division I Proposal 2018-45: Contact Restrictions at Specified Sites – Contact With Prospective Student-Athletes Involved in Competition – Sports Other Than Basketball

Intent, as noted by the NCAA: In sports other than basketball, to eliminate restrictions related to contact with a prospective student-athlete involved in competition such that contact may occur after the prospective student-athlete’s competition concludes for the day and the prospective student-athlete has been released from the competition by the appropriate authority, as specified.

Bylaw 13.1.6.2.1In sports other than basketball, recruiting contact may not be made with a prospective student-athlete at any site prior to any athletics competition (including a noninstitutional, private camp or clinic, but not an institutional camp or clinic) in which the prospective student-athlete is a participant on a day of competition, even if the prospective student-athlete is on an official or unofficial visit. Contact includes the passing of notes or orally relaying information to a prospective student-athlete by a third party on behalf of an institutional staff member. Contact may occur after the prospective student-athlete’s competition concludes for the day and the prospective student-athlete has been released by the appropriate authority (e.g., coach).

Note: Per Bylaw 13.1.1.1 (above), this rule will be in effect August 1 before a PSA’s junior year, when off-campus contact may be made (a phone call may be made, of course, on June 15 after her sophomore year). If a PSA is of-age to do so, she may communicate in person and/or make a visit (unofficial or official) after the daily competition is done. For instance, if she is competing in a three-day tournament, once her team is finished playing for the day (even on Day 1), she may have have face-to-face communication with and/or visit a school in the area. She does not have to wait until Day 3 has wrapped up. It’s also up to the club coach to release her to do so if it’s not a distraction to the team and tournament.

 

Don’t get this wrong – this is what the rules do not state:

— Division I college coaches cannot talk to high school and club coaches… they can! What they can and cannot say to the coach specifically across the board is a little muddy. We know they can’t offer a PSA a scholarship or place on the team. They can’t say that a certain recruit is number-one on their list through the coach or ask them to pass along information. But, from what we understand, they still can say things like, “Jane’s serve receive is looking good! How is she progressing with her defense?” They may express general interest in the PSA and ask about her character, work ethic, athletic skills, etc., but not go further than that. It’s up to the club coach to decide whether or not to share with Jane that “X” University asked about her.

— There is no legislation that stops Division I college coaches from evaluating younger PSAs. Will there be less of a need for them to watch the 14 and under age groups? Probably. But we’re sure it will still happen in order for coaches to compile their lists early.

— There was a proposed rule (13.9.1 Oral Offer of Aid) that has since been rescinded. It was to limit an oral offer of aid (any oral offer – verbal, implied, or asked to be relayed by a club coach) until August 1 before a PSA’s junior year of high school. The NCAA’s rationale to omit this rule was that there were “some concerns with the enforceability of limiting oral offers of aid until a date that occurs after the first opportunity for a coach to communicate with a prospective student-athlete. By removing the restriction on oral offers of aid, the proposal will allow such offers to occur on the first opportunity for a coach to communicate with a prospective student-athletes.”

— A scholarship offer made before the rules go into effect (May 1, 2019) is void – not exactly true. The problem is, a PSA is not supposed to have a conversation with a Division I college coach to let him or her know she has committed, and a coach can’t talk to her, either. However, the PSA can hold onto that verbal offer until communication is open again, or possibly post it on social media, on recruiting databases (like Rich Kern and our PrepVolleyball.com commitment list), or possibly send an email without getting a response back and hope the message gets through.

Updated NCAA Rules Effective May 1st, 2019

Excerpt from PrepVolleyball.com

There are nine new NCAA Division I recruiting rules that have been passed by the NCAA Division I Council and go into effect May 1, 2019, effective immediately. To help prepare and educate student-athletes, families, and clubs about these rules, we are providing the new legislation and what these mean to the athlete and her recruiting process.

You’ll notice that for volleyball, instead of the popular date of September 1 before a prospective student-athlete’s (PSA) junior year, the rules have moved toward slightly earlier June 15 and August 1 dates. In short, here are the new rules under each date (more below):

June 15 – Talking on the phone to the coach (a PSA’s incoming and outgoing phone calls); receiving electric correspondence and recruiting materials

August 1 – Having off-campus contact; recruiting conversations at camp; going on unofficial and official visits

These sound like a lot of restrictions and the rules are intended on pushing back the recruiting process for younger players. We’ve talked to many college and club coaches about how this may affect the process and have gathered that PSAs can look at this with a couple of different perspectives:

1) “I will feel bad if no Division I program is interested and then I will be rushed to learn about programs and to make a decision once I’m entering my junior year.”; or 2) “The decision is in my hands and I can focus on high school and club volleyball, my studies, and learning about myself before being bombarded with messages about college – much like my (non-athlete) classmates!”

Additionally, it is up to each individual conference in Division I athletics to interpret and adopt the rules for their specific conference… this means there may be some variation in how programs carry out the rules – what their camp plans are, how they communicate with club coaches, etc. That shouldn’t be a PSA’s concern.

Important Note: If a PSA wants to submit a college recruiting announcement to us at PrepVolleyball.com prior to June 15 after her sophomore year, please confirm that the offer was made before May 1, 2019. We’re not interested in getting anyone in trouble with NCAA violations.

Below, we offer each of the nine NCAA legislative rules that have gone into effect as of May 1. We also include what the previous rule was and give some commentary about what this means for a Division I volleyball PSA, their families, and their recruiting process.

(Please note that these rules are for Division I programs, only. These written rules are the abbreviated version of each. To view the language in full, visit the NCAA website and search the administrative bylaws, here.)

***

Division I Proposal 2018-93: Recruiting – Recruiting Model – Sports Other Than Baseball, Basketball, Football, Men’s Ice Hockey, and Softball

Intent, as noted by the NCAA: In sports other than baseball, basketball, football, men’s ice hockey, and softball, to revise legislation related to contacts; telephone calls; recruiting materials; official and unofficial visits; financial aid agreements; and camps and clinics, as specified.

(Note: The new rule has been bolded and the previous rule is in parentheses and italicized below.)

Bylaw 13.1.3.2.4 Telephone Calls From an Individual – In sports other than baseball, basketball, football, and men’s ice hockey, an institutional staff member may not receive telephone calls from an individual (or his or her family members) before June 15 at the conclusion of his or her sophomore year in high school.

(Previous Rule: In lacrosse and softball… before September 1 at the beginning of his or her junior year)

Notes: Before in volleyball, a PSA could pick up the phone and call a DI coach at any time in her recruiting process and a coach could answer. Now, the rule is that a coach will not be permitted to answer a PSA’s phone call until June 15 after a PSA’s sophomore year/before a PSA’s junior year, whether she has already committed or not. How will they be able to tell? Well, some compliance offices monitor call logs closely, and other times, unfortunately, some others will make poor ethical decisions and do it anyway. If a PSA does call before June 15 after her sophomore year, it may be something where the coach answers a number he or she doesn’t recognize, finds out who it is, and says, “What is your graduation year? Oh, a sophomore or younger before June 15? We can’t talk.” The End. Alternatively, young recruits will simply speak to answering machines or email without a response.

 

Date-Specific Changes – June 15

Bylaw 13.4.1 Recruiting Materials and Electronic Correspondence – General Rule. An institution shall not provide recruiting materials, including general correspondence related to athletics, or send electronic correspondence to an individual (or his or her family members) until June 15 at the conclusion of his or her sophomore year in high school.

(Previous Rule: …until September 1 at the beginning of his or her junior year in high school.)

Note: That’s two and a half additional months to provide a PSA information about a school, possibly in conjunction with phone calls and in preparation for scholarship conversations and offers.

 

Bylaw 13.1.3.1 Time Period for Telephone Calls – General Rule. Telephone calls to an individual (or his or her family members) may not be made before June 15 at the conclusion of his or her sophomore year in high school (subject to the exception below).

(Previous Rule: September 1 at the beginning of his or her junior year)

Notes: To go along with 13.1.3.2.3 above, a college coach will be able to call a PSA before the former September 1 date. The date a phone call to a Division I college coach may be made has now been pushed back into the summer on June 15 before a PSA’s junior year in high school. (Just in time for a call saying perhaps, “Hello, I can’t wait to see you at 17s Nationals and camp!”)

 

Date-Specific Changes – August 1

Bylaw 13.12.1.5.1 Exception – Recruiting Conversations. In sports other than baseball, basketball and football, recruiting conversations during an institutional camp or clinic (including a camp or clinic that involves only individuals who are not yet prospective student-athletes) are not permitted between an institution’s coach and a participating individual before August 1 at the beginning of the individual’s junior year in high school.

(Previous Rule: September 1)

Notes: Speaking of camp, you may see a few camps and clinics sprinkled throughout the year due to this exception to the rule. These camps must be advertised to any and all and may only be restricted by the number of campers, age, and grade level. A college coach may call a PSA before the June 15 date only to discuss camp logistics. When she is at the camp, recruiting conversations cannot be held at camp until August 1 of a PSA’s junior year.

 

Bylaw 13.1.5.1 In sports other than football, baseball, basketball, and men’s ice hockey, each institution is limited to seven recruiting opportunities (contacts and evaluations combined) per prospective student-athlete per year (see Bylaw 13.1.5.7). Beginning August 1 at the start of a prospective student-athlete’s junior year of high school, not more than three of the seven opportunities per year may be off-campus contacts at any site and shall include contacts with the prospective student-athlete’s family members, but shall not include contacts made during an official visit per Bylaw 13.6 or an unofficial visit per Bylaw 13.7.5.

(Previous Rule: In sports other than football, basketball, men’s ice hockey, lacrosse, softball, and wrestling… During the senior year of high school, not more than three of the seven opportunities may be off-campus contacts…)

 

Bylaw 13.1.1.1 Time Period for Off-Campus Contacts – General Rule. Off-campus recruiting contacts shall not be made with an individual (or his or her family members) before August 1 at the beginning of his or her junior year in high school.

(Previous Rule: July 1 following the completion of his or her juniors year)

Note: An “off-campus contact” may include a home visit, in-person conversation away from the college campus including at a tournament (See 2018-45, below), or any face-to-face contact that is more than just a passing “hello.” Again, this is to stay consistent with the August 1 recruiting date to ensure the conversations outside of campus don’t wander into murky (and illegal!) waters.

Bylaw 13.6.2.1.1 In sports other than baseball, basketball, and football, a prospective student-athlete may not be provided an expense-paid visit earlier than August 1 of his or her junior year in high school.

(Previous Rule: September 1)

Bylaw 13.7.1.1 In sports other than baseball, basketball and football, an unofficial visit with athletic department involvement (e.g., contact with athletics department staff, athletics-specific tour, complimentary admission) shall not occur with an individual (or his or her family members) before August 1 at the beginning of his or her junior year in high school.

(Previous Rule: September 1)

Note: An official visit (which a college can provide payment for) as well as an unofficial visit (where the student-athlete’s family pays to visit), will move ahead one month, again avoiding a preseason clash for both the Division I program as well as the PSA.

Division I Proposal 2018-45: Contact Restrictions at Specified Sites – Contact With Prospective Student-Athletes Involved in Competition – Sports Other Than Basketball

Intent, as noted by the NCAA: In sports other than basketball, to eliminate restrictions related to contact with a prospective student-athlete involved in competition such that contact may occur after the prospective student-athlete’s competition concludes for the day and the prospective student-athlete has been released from the competition by the appropriate authority, as specified.

Bylaw 13.1.6.2.1In sports other than basketball, recruiting contact may not be made with a prospective student-athlete at any site prior to any athletics competition (including a noninstitutional, private camp or clinic, but not an institutional camp or clinic) in which the prospective student-athlete is a participant on a day of competition, even if the prospective student-athlete is on an official or unofficial visit. Contact includes the passing of notes or orally relaying information to a prospective student-athlete by a third party on behalf of an institutional staff member. Contact may occur after the prospective student-athlete’s competition concludes for the day and the prospective student-athlete has been released by the appropriate authority (e.g., coach).

Note: Per Bylaw 13.1.1.1 (above), this rule will be in effect August 1 before a PSA’s junior year, when off-campus contact may be made (a phone call may be made, of course, on June 15 after her sophomore year). If a PSA is of-age to do so, she may communicate in person and/or make a visit (unofficial or official) after the daily competition is done. For instance, if she is competing in a three-day tournament, once her team is finished playing for the day (even on Day 1), she may have have face-to-face communication with and/or visit a school in the area. She does not have to wait until Day 3 has wrapped up. It’s also up to the club coach to release her to do so if it’s not a distraction to the team and tournament.

 

Don’t get this wrong – this is what the rules do not state:

— Division I college coaches cannot talk to high school and club coaches… they can! What they can and cannot say to the coach specifically across the board is a little muddy. We know they can’t offer a PSA a scholarship or place on the team. They can’t say that a certain recruit is number-one on their list through the coach or ask them to pass along information. But, from what we understand, they still can say things like, “Jane’s serve receive is looking good! How is she progressing with her defense?” They may express general interest in the PSA and ask about her character, work ethic, athletic skills, etc., but not go further than that. It’s up to the club coach to decide whether or not to share with Jane that “X” University asked about her.

— There is no legislation that stops Division I college coaches from evaluating younger PSAs. Will there be less of a need for them to watch the 14 and under age groups? Probably. But we’re sure it will still happen in order for coaches to compile their lists early.

— There was a proposed rule (13.9.1 Oral Offer of Aid) that has since been rescinded. It was to limit an oral offer of aid (any oral offer – verbal, implied, or asked to be relayed by a club coach) until August 1 before a PSA’s junior year of high school. The NCAA’s rationale to omit this rule was that there were “some concerns with the enforceability of limiting oral offers of aid until a date that occurs after the first opportunity for a coach to communicate with a prospective student-athlete. By removing the restriction on oral offers of aid, the proposal will allow such offers to occur on the first opportunity for a coach to communicate with a prospective student-athletes.”

— A scholarship offer made before the rules go into effect (May 1, 2019) is void – not exactly true. The problem is, a PSA is not supposed to have a conversation with a Division I college coach to let him or her know she has committed, and a coach can’t talk to her, either. However, the PSA can hold onto that verbal offer until communication is open again, or possibly post it on social media, on recruiting databases (like Rich Kern and our PrepVolleyball.com commitment list), or possibly send an email without getting a response back and hope the message gets through.