Rules FAQ: Contact with Prospective Students

We have received numerous questions regarding contact with parents of students currently enrolled at other collegiate institutions. 

As a reminder, NAIA Bylaws Article II, Section D, Item 1 states,
"If, during the school year or summer vacation period, the athletics director, faculty athletics representative, or coach of a member institution is contacted or becomes aware of contact by an athlete who enrolled at another institution of higher learning (two-year or four-year), it shall be the responsibility of the contacted institution (athletics director or faculty athletics representative) to notify, in writing, the institution (athletics director or faculty athletics representative) where the athlete is presently enrolled within 10 days following the first contact.

A coach or another representative of a member institution shall not initiate contact with an athlete who has 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.

A coach or another representative of a member institution may respond to a contact by an athlete only after the enrolled athlete's institution (athletics director or faculty athletics representative) has been notified as prescribed above."

Essentially, this restricts coaching staffs at NAIA member institutions from having any contact with students enrolled at other collegiate institutions, unless that contact is initiated by the student.  If a student initiates contact, the institution is required to notify the student's current institution within 10 days. 

The question brought to the National Eligibility Committee (NEC) centered on the responsibilities of a contacted institution when the contact was made by someone other than the student, but was made on behalf of the student.  The NEC confirmed,

"In reference to the requirements outlined in Article II, Section D, contact made by another individual (e.g., parent, high school coach, roommate), should be treated in the same manner as contact from the student.  Contact regarding transfer with any of these individuals must be reported in the manner outlined in the bylaw."

This interpretation by the NEC is consistent with the intent of the legislation, which requires notice any time contact with a student regarding transferring to an NAIA institution occurs.  This interpretation prohibits the use of intermediaries to circumvent NAIA recruiting regulations.