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Eligibility Center
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Guide for College-Bound Student Athletes
NCAA Eligibility Center
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Official Visit
An official visit to a member institution by a prospective student-athlete is a visit financed in whole or in part by the member institution. An institution is only able to finance one official visit per prospect to its institution. A prospective student-athlete may take up to five expense paid visits to Division I institutions. Please note that an official visit may not last more than 48 hours. Before a college may invite you on an official visit, you will have to provide the college with a copy of your high school transcript (Division I only) and SAT, ACT or PLAN score and register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

First Opportunity for an Official Visit:

  • Men’s Basketball – Not before August 1 of the Junior Year of High School
  • Women’s Basketball – Not before the Thursday following the Final Four of the Junior Year of High School
  • Football – Not before April 1 of the Junior Year of High School through the Sunday before the last Wednesday in June. Thereafter, anytime after September 1 of the Senior Year of High School
  • Baseball & Softball – Not before September 1 of the Junior Year of High School
  • All Other Sports – Not before August 1 of the Junior Year of High School

Unofficial Visit
Any visit by you and your parents to a college campus paid for by you or your parents. The only expense you may receive from the college is three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest. The only time you cannot talk with a coach during an unofficial visit is during a dead period. A prospect may visit a member institution’s campus at his or her expense an unlimited number of times, but not before the first opportunity to take an unofficial visit as defined by NCAA rules.

First Opportunity for an Unofficial Visit:

  • Men’s Basketball – Not before August 1 of the Sophomore Year of High School
  • Women’s Basketball – Anytime (not during a Dead Period)
  • Football – Anytime (not during a Dead Period)
  • Baseball & Softball – Not before September 1 of the Junior Year of High School
  • All Other Sports – Not before August 1 of the Junior Year of High School

Prospective Student-Athletes
An individual becomes a “prospective student-athlete” when he or she begins classes for the ninth-grade, except in the sport of men’s basketball, where an individual becomes a prospective student-athlete when he enrolls in seventh grade. After becoming a prospective student athlete, an individual remains a prospect until they enroll full-time at a four-year institution. Students may become a prospective student athlete before the ninth grade if a college gives them (or their relatives or friends) any financial aid or other benefits that the college does not provide to prospective students generally.

Recruited Prospective Student-Athlete
A prospective student-athlete becomes a “recruited prospective student-athlete” at a particular college if any coach or representative of the college’s athletics interests (booster, alumnus or fan) approaches them (or any member of their family) about enrolling and participating in athletics at that college. Activities by coaches or boosters that trigger recruited status include, but are not limited to, providing a prospect with an official visit, placing more than one telephone call to a prospect or any other member of their family, or visiting a prospect or any other member of the prospect’s family anywhere other than the university’s campus.

Evaluation
An evaluation is an activity by a coach to evaluate your academic or athletics ability. This would include visiting your high school or watching you practice or compete.

Evaluation Period
The college coach may watch you play or visit your high school, but cannot have any in-person conversations with you or your parents off the college’s campus. You and your parents can visit a college campus during this period. A coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.

Contact
A contact occurs any time a coach has any face-to-face contact with you or your parents off the college’s campus and says more than hello. A contact also occurs if a coach has any contact with you or your parents at your high school or any location where you are competing or practicing.

Contact Period
During this time, a college coach may have in-person contact with you and/or your parents on or off the college’s campus. The coach may also watch you play or visit your high school. You and your parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and telephone you during this period.

Recruiting Period – Men’s Basketball
In men’s basketball, a recruiting period is a period of time when it is permissible for authorized athletics department staff members to make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations.

Quiet Period
The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents off the college’s campus. The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school during this period. You and your parents may visit a college campus during this time. A coach may write or telephone you or your parents during this time.

Dead Period
The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents at any time in the dead period. The coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time. 

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