The world of college athletics is evolving daily, and alongside it, the recruiting process has become more complex than ever. With a rise in recruiting services and early verbal commitments, the NCAA has done its best to implement regulations on various aspects of the recruiting process.

The NCAA has now set mandatory guidelines, which a recruiting service must follow in order to assist the Student-Athlete in the process. The guidelines are as follows:

  • Openly identify their rates, and the rate must be the same for all sports and all student-athletes
  • Information (e.g., reports, profiles) about the student-athlete must be sent out at least 4 times per calendar year
  • Geographical scope of the service openly identified
  • Provides analysis of student-athlete beyond demographic or ranking for each subscriber
  • Provides samples or previews of the information to be distributed prior to purchase of a subscription
  • Provides video that is restricted to regularly scheduled (regular season) contests
Free services are the safest option. Consider using the following free services, which are in compliance with NCAA legislation:
Online Services:

There are online search tools available for a fee that are not held to the NCAA guidelines, but can be useful. The following are some examples:

  • Link Athletics: Research NCAA sports programs by sport division and conference.
  • Sport Source: The Sport Source reference book is a useful, step-by-step book to help break down the recruiting process for multiple different sports.
  • National Directory of College Athletics: This a wonderful tool to begin the college/athletic search process. It is available online or in print.
  • Check for changes in the 2012-2013 NCAA Guide for the College Bound Athlete **** Update link
  • Review the recruiting calendars and rules for your sport
  • Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and write down you login info.
  • Meet with your counselor to review the required core courses and make sure you are on track.
  • Register to take the SAT and/or ACT before January and have all scores sent to the Eligibility Center-code #9999.
  • Compile a list of prospective schools, gather contact information for coaches at each school and make the initial contact.
  • Parents should plan to schedule a Junior Parent Meeting with Mr. McMillin in March
  • Continue contact with college coaches as it relates to your individual sport
  • Take SAT and/or ACT as needed
  • Continue contact with college coaches
  • Meet with your counselor to discuss college admissions and any recruiting” information you received in the summer
  • Narrow/finalize list of colleges and gather application information for each
  • In all cases, the student-athlete MUST complete a full application to be admitted to a college.
  • Complete all testing requirements, essays, letters of recommendations, etc.
  • Complete SAT and/or ACT testing.
  • Know the deadline for each individual college.
  • Go on official visits and enjoy yourself.
  • Your counselor can help determine the types of questions to ask on the college visit, both athletic and academic.
  • Complete the FAFSA in January. Even if you do not think you will qualify for aid, athletic departments often use this information.

National Letter of Intent (NLI) – As a student progresses through the recruiting process, the question of signing a National Letter of Intent may arise. This is a binding document, and student-athletes and their families are often unclear on the specifics. As per any legal agreement it is important to understand what to expect, both the good and bad.