Can We Talk?
Can you and should you talk to a college coach
By Kim Gwydir – Former Division 1 College Softball Coach
and Managing Partner of FPOS
This past week was a big week on the recruiting calendar. It is the “Colorado week” where many travel teams make the trip to the Boulder/Aurora, Co area where 3 of the largest recruiting tournament of the year go on. Hundreds of college coaches from all levels will be there. It is the biggest recruiting week of the year.
In the last two weeks, I have given numerous recruiting seminars and the question most asked is – “Can I talk to a College Coach?” Actually, I think there are two questions – “Can I” and “Should I?”
Can I Talk to a College Coach?
The NCAA rules
Division I: A college coach cannot call or return a call until July 1 after the athlete’s Junior Year in high school. Starting July 1, coaches can call once a week. In terms of a face to face meeting, a college coach can contact an athlete or her parent’s off-campus (meaning off the college coaches campus) no more than 3 times after July 1. College coaches cannot talk to a player until they are released by their coach from the tournament.
So, you can call a DI coach any time but they cannot call you until July 1 between the Junior and Senior year. In addition, a coach is not being rude when they do not speak with you. There are NCAA rules governing how often they can do it so do not be offended when a coach does not speak with you.
Division II: Has similar rules but can start contacting recruits on June 15 after the junior year (instead of July 1) and after June 15 they can make an unlimited number of calls to recruits and have an unlimited number of contacts.
Division III: There is no limit to the number of calls or when they can be made. The issue is most DIII schools have high admission requirements so most DIII coaches wait until after the Junior year’s grades come out to talk to prospects so they can see if they have the grades to make it at their college. In terms of the in person, off campus contacts – a DIII coach can have contact with a prospect after the Junior year.
NAIA and JC: Can contact a prospect as often as they wish with no time restrictions.
This is why Colorado is a big week. Coaches from DI schools will wait around for a prospect to get knocked out of a tournament and either talks to them after that game or schedule to meet with them at their hotel. Remember, they must wait until the coach releases them after that last game (meaning finishes speaking with them after they play their last game).
Should I Speak to a Coach?
Keep in mind at the NCAA has rules for when a coach can speak with you and in some cases how often. So the answer is no, you should not go up to a coach during a tournament. If the coach has interest in your daughter then they will come to you.
What should you do? Call coaches and email them to gage their interest. The later you are in the recruiting process (meaning the closer to the players senior year) then the more aggressive you should be. There is nothing wrong with a parent calling a coach who has shown interest in a player and asking the coach where they stand. In my opinion, it is hard for the player to do this – they are intimidated and do not have the savvy to really understand if the coach has interest or is just being nice to them.
If your daughter is interested in attending an NAIA or JC school – then by all means talk to the coach. Also, if they have interest in a DIII program and they have the grades – talk to the coach. These coaches will appreciate knowing that the player has interest in attending their institution.
Remember, Division I coaches often have a long list of players on July 1 after the Junior year and start whittling that list down. They may get a commitment from a player or just go in another direction. If you stop hearing from a coach there is a pretty good chance they have moved on in one way or another, but if you have any doubts – call the coach and ask. It is better to know then to always wonder.