Sports Update – NCAA Division I recruiting reforms

By Tom Behrens

The NCAA Division I council enacted recruiting reform that will drastically affect high school football recruits and their coaches.

The changes that will affect high school players the most:

Early signing period update…

The NCAA approved changes to the recruiting calendar which would allow for a mid-December signing day. The Collegiate Commissioners Association has a vote in June to make it official, but the early indications are that it will pass. If it does, Class of 2018 prospects will be allowed to sign during a three-day period from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22 this year. Any player who doesn’t sign would have to wait until the traditional winter signing period, beginning in early February.

Official visits, earlier.

Also, the NCAA voted to add an official visit period from April 1 to late June of their junior years. The legislation doesn’t go into effect until Aug. 1, so the Class of 2019 prospects will be the first class affected.

This will allow recruits to get their visits in before the high school season starts. Right now, players must fit them in on bye weeks or after the season. For players making deep playoff runs, it can be difficult to make all five visits by the time signing day rolls around.

New challenge for HS coaches jumping to college.

Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting….

Coaches employed at a camp or clinic can now have recruiting conversations with participants.

That makes college camps more important for recruits. There is now zero lag time between a coach seeing a player, possibly for the first time, and him immediately being able to recruit.