Rules FAQ: NAIA Recruiting Rules
ARTICLE II, SECTION D. RECRUITMENT
1. Recruitment of an Enrolled Student-Athlete
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 institution.
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.
2. Recruitment of a Non-Enrolled Student
A coach or another representative of a member institution shall not contact an athlete who has drawn equipment and is engaged in organized pre-school practice at another institution.
3. Violation of any part of the recruitment policy shall cause an immediate investigation by the National Conduct and Ethics Committee for appropriate action.
INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION
The recruiting rules of the NAIA are based on ethics and common courtesy. Item 2 above allows for freedom of coaches and administrators to identify and recruit the best prospective high school student-athletes or those students who have never participated, practiced, or received athletically based financial aid while enrolled at another institution of higher learning.
Under Item 1, though, the rules are stricter but not oppressive when it comes to enrolled student-athletes and the process that must be followed for a coach or administrator to discuss a possible transfer of that student to his/her institution. This interpretation will focus on Item 1 and how institutions should apply this regulation. Item 1 will be broken down into the elements necessary for proper application.
1. If AD, FAR, or Coach is contacted or made aware of contact by enrolled student athlete enrolled at another institution of higher learning (two-year or four-year)...
A. Contact can include a phone call, phone message, email, letter or any other form of notification from the student to the administrator or coach. It will also be considered contact if someone outside the athletics department at the institution notifies the administrator or coach of a possible transfer student.
B. Contact will also be a phone call, phone message, email, letter or any other form notification from a parent, relative, friend of the family, coach, or acquaintance on behalf of the student.
C. Another institution (two-year or four-year) is not limited to other NAIA institutions. This will also include junior colleges (if student has not exhausted two-year eligibility) and any other four-year institutions that may be affiliated with other sports organizations or no organization at all.
2. ...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 or if the summer vacation period, was enrolled the previous term, within 10 days following the first contact.
As soon as any institutional representative is contacted all communication must cease immediately with that student or his/her representative regarding a possible transfer or the prospects of that student participating at the contacted institution upon transfer. The statement should be, "Thank you for your contact but I cannot speak with you any further until proper NAIA procedure is followed."
A. If a coach or other athletics personnel is contacted then he/she must immediately notify the Athletics Director or Faculty Athletics Representative of the contact. The AD or FAR has 10 days in which to notify in writing (email or letter) the AD or FAR at the institution where the student is currently enrolled or participated for within the last two or three terms that a representative has been contacted by this student.
B. A coach should never under any circumstances contact his or her counterpart at the other institution and discuss this contact and the possibility of this student's transferring. All correspondence must be between the respective ADs or FARs.
C. Notification is not required when an enrolled student, upon being informed that notification will be sent to his/her current institution, elects to stop all communication with the potential transfer institution after the initial contact. Notification must be sent if, at a future time, the student again contacts the potential transfer institution.
D. Notification is not required when an initial email, voicemail and/or text is left by a enrollled student-athlete for a member of the athletics department, but such communication is not responded to, addressed, or returned. These communications are not considered communications requiring notification under Article II, Section D. 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 student’s enrolled institution within 10 days of the contact.
3. 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.
A. Once the AD or FAR has notified the other institution in writing, then representatives of the institution may speak with the student about transferring or the prospects of that student participating at their institution upon transfer.
B. The institution does not have to have a release (written or verbal) from the other institution to talk to this student. The institution has fulfilled its ethical obligation under this regulation by notifying the other institution in writing of the contact.
4. A coach or another representative of a member institution shall not initiate contact with an athlete who has enrolled at another institution.
After reading the preceding elements of this regulation, this mandate is self-explanatory. In no way, shape, or form should a coach or any other representative initiate contact with an enrolled student-athlete about the possibility of that student transferring or the prospects of that student participating for that institution upon transfer.
Item 3 within Article II, Section D describes the ramifications of violating the recruiting regulations. If an institution violates this bylaw they are to self-report. If an NAIA institution is aware of a violation or a possible violation they are to follow the procedure found under Article VI, Section B, item 3 of the NAIA Bylaws for reporting this information (listed below). Failure to self-report or to report another institution will also be investigated by the Conduct and Ethics Committee.
ARTICLE VI, SECTION B. Item 3
REPORTING VIOLATIONS: AN INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Should any chief executive officer, faculty athletics representative, athletics director, and/or coach become aware of an apparent institutional violation involving an athlete or institutional representative of any member institution, it shall be the responsibility of the individual to notify his/her athletics director and faculty athletics representative of that violation immediately. The athletics director or faculty athletics representative upon being notified shall contact in writing the athletics director and faculty athletics representative at the institution in question and send copies of the notification to the National Office and the Eligibility Chair. This notification shall take place within five days of receiving the information. Failure to abide by any part of this regulation shall be viewed as unethical conduct and shall cause an investigation by the National Conduct and Ethics Committee for appropriate action against the institution for withholding information.