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Recruiting Rules for Coaches

May 14, 2013
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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 identifies with an institution either during the summer or the upcoming academic term.

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 or a student who is enrolled at another institution may contact members of a coaching staff at any time. However, if the student is currently enrolled at an institution (two-year or four-year school), 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 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 student 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 student's current 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 practice at another institution.

What can prospective students do during the summer?

New legislation that went into effect May 16, 2015 allows for a prospective student to practice and compete with an institution's team during the summer (which is considered May 16th-July 31st). The practice and competition may occur if the student is a high school graduate and not enrolled with any other institution of higher learning, and:

  1. enrolled in a full-time class load, as defined by the instituion, for the applicable summer term, or
  2. enrolled in at least 12 instituinoal credit hours for the immediatley subsequent fall term. 

For additional information on summer activities and prospective students, please click here and here.  

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.