For a student-athlete, choosing the right school can be a life-changing decision. Of course, many parents are heavily involved in this decision-making process, as they want their child to choose the path that will lead to success. Parents, however, are bound by the same restrictions that student-athletes are in regards to communication with coaches, the NCAA Eligibility Center reports. Therefore, parents must be keenly aware of certain rules to help prevent potential recruiting violations.
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Sophomore Year of High School
Contact can begin between parents and coaches during the student-athlete's sophomore year, but the parent must initiate every communication. This rule applies to every NCAA sport. A coach is not permitted to call parents or student-athletes during this time, but the parents can call a coach as long as he, the parent, pays for the expenses of the call, according to the NCAA Eligibility Center. Parents can also accompany their child on an unofficial visit to a university. While the parents or student-athlete must pay the expenses of this visit, the school can provide the family with three free tickets to an athletic event.
Junior Year of High School
The junior year during high school is the first time that a coach can make contact with a parent or student-athlete. In men's basketball, a coach can make one phone call per month to the family from June 15 before junior year to July 31 after junior year. In women's basketball, a coach can call once each in April and May, once between June 1 and June 20, once between June 21 and June 30, and three times in July after the completion of junior year. Football coaches are only permitted one phone call between April 15 and May 31 of the student-athlete's junior year, the NCAA Eligibility Center reports. During this time, parents and student-athletes can still make unlimited unofficial visits during the year.
Senior Year of High School
Coaches can make much more contact with parents and student-athletes during the senior year. In men's and women's basketball, the coach can call twice per week starting on Aug. 1. In football, the coach can make one phone call per week starting on Sept. 1. The coach can also begin making off-campus contact on Sept. 9 for men's basketball, Sept. 16 for women's basketball and on the Sunday following the final Saturday in November for football, according to NCAA Eligibility Center. This off-campus contact can include face-to-face meetings with parents or visiting the student-athlete's high school, the NCAA reports. Once the student-athlete begins her senior year, a coach can invite the parents and their child to make an official visit to the school. This is an all-expenses paid trip for up to three family members.
Division II and III Rules
In NCAA Division II, a coach can contact the student-athlete or his parents once per week starting on the June 15 between the junior and senior years. A coach can also make three off-campus visits starting on this date and can invite the family for an official visit at any time. In NCAA Division III, there is no limit to the number of calls that a coach can make, although recruiting at this level is rare because of financial constraints.