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Recruiting Rules for Coaches

May 14, 2013

Who is considered a prospective student?

A prospective student is any individual who has never identified or whose previous collegiate identification was with another collegiate institution. An individual remains a prospective student until the student (a) practices with an institution’s team during the 24-week season, or (b) identifies with an institution.

An individual’s status as a prospective student is not impacted by age, grade level, college acceptance or signed commitment.

When can I contact a prospective student?

Recruiting Enrolled Student-Athletes:
Coaches may not initiate contact with an athlete enrolled at another four-year institution. It is permissible to contact a student who is currently enrolled at a two-year institution once the student completes the academic year in which the student utilizes his/her first season of competition. The student does not need to have competed at their current institution for this regulation to apply. Enrollment is the triggering factor.

A prospective student enrolled at another institution may contact members of a coaching staff at any time. However, the athletics director or faculty athletics representative must notify the institution where the athlete is presently enrolled within 10 days following the first contact. A coach or another representative of a member institution may respond to a contact by an athlete only after the enrolled athlete’s institution has been properly notified.

Initial emails, voicemails and texts left by a prospective student for a member of the athletics department that are not responded to, addressed, or returned are not considered communications requiring notification. If at any point the prospective student-athlete does make contact with the athletics director, faculty athletics representative, or coach which is not ignored in the same manner described above, notification must be made in writing to the prospective students enrolled institution within 10 days of the contact.

Recruiting Non-Enrolled Students:
Coaches are free to contact prospective students up until the point where the athlete draws equipment and engages in organized pre-school practice at another institution.

What can prospective students do during the summer?

Prospective students are not permitted to practice or compete with an institution’s team prior to the beginning of the 24-week season, regardless of the student’s stated commitment to the institution. This prohibition includes practice and competition (including foreign tours) during the summer prior to the student’s identification with the institution.

Prospective students are allowed to engage in informal conditioning activities with continuing student-athletes. However, this conditioning cannot be organized, directed or required by any member of the coaching staff, including strength coaches.

Can prospective students attend summer camps?

NAIA head and assistant coaches are allowed to conduct legitimate instructional camps for the public during the summer months. A camp is considered legitimate if the camp is open to the public and prospective students pay a rate equivalent to all other similarly situated attendees.

Prospective students may attend camps hosted by an NAIA coach because a prospective student’s participation in such a camp is not considered to be practicing with an institution’s team.


Stay in the Game poster
for student-athletes
What do student-athletes need to do to maintain their eligibility? A new poster for faculty athletics representatives highlights the key requirements.
Print the 11x17 poster.