USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the college recruiting process. Here, you’ll find practical tips and real-world advice on becoming a better recruit to maximize your opportunities to play at the college level.
John Moore began his athletic career playing four sports in high school. After battling through injuries (including playing his last high school basketball game on a broken ankle) he went on to earn scholarships at Tri-State University (now Trine.) At Trine, John excelled as a player in both basketball and football. After graduation, he coached high school basketball and football in his home state of Michigan before returning to coach basketball at his alma mater. John is just one of many former college and professional players, college coaches, and parents who are part of the Next College Student Athlete team. Their knowledge, experience, and dedication along with NCSA’s history of digital innovation, and long-standing relationship with the college coaching community have made NCSA the largest and most successful athletic recruiting network in the country.
The NCAA sets the rules of the recruiting process and communicates those rules through the recruiting calendar. The calendar breaks out the different periods that explain what coaches can an cannot do when it comes to the recruiting of an athlete. The quiet period is an often misunderstood time in the recruiting process when coaches are prohibited from visiting recruits, but recruiting is still very much happening.
What is the NCAA Quiet Period?
The NCAA definition: “a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools.”
All this means is that college coaches won’t be able to go watch you play in person or visit your school. They can still call, email, text you or your family; in otherwords, there is still a lot of recruiting happening.
Insider tip: The quiet period only applies to NCAA DI and DII coaches. Coaches at DIII or NAIA schools can watch a recruit in person whenever they would like.
Take Unofficial Visits During the Quiet Period
The most common thing happening during quiet periods is to see athletes making unofficial visits. Because coaches can’t visit a recruit, many recruits take the opportunity to go to the coach, see the campus and get a tour of the facilities. Coaches and recruits are allowed to email, text and call, so it is fairly easy to arrange a visit, as long as the coach is actively recruiting you.
Does the quiet period really matter?
For top recruits receiving a lot of interest, it can be a nice break from coaches coming to your school and potentially your house to meet with you. Similarly, college coaches like to know there is a break in their travel schedule and they won’t be flying around to visit all of the recruits on their board.
All of that said, for the average recruit receiving little or no recruiting interest, the quiet period won’t change anything. You are still free to email, text or call coaches and you should be doing that. For non-NCAA DI/DII coaches or coaches with tight recruiting budgets, they aren’t going to be on the road everyday of the evaluation period, so “taking a break” during the quiet period isn’t really necessairy.
When is the quiet period in recruiting?
- D1 Football FBS and FCS – Sep 1, 2017-Nov 25, 2017; Feb 4, 2018; Feb 9, 2018-Apr 14, 2018; Jun 1, 2018-July 31, 2018
- D1 Baseball – Aug 28, 2017-Sep 14, 2017; Nov 10, 2017-Feb 28, 2018
- D1 Men’s Basketball – Aug 1, 2017-Sep 8, 2017; Apr 19, 2018-Jul 5, 2018;
- D1 Women’s Basketball – Aug 1, 2017-Sep 8, 2017; Apr 6, 2018-Apr 8, 2018; Apr 18, 2018-Jul 5, 2018
- D1 Cross Country/Track and Field – Aug 1, 2017-ug 12, 2017; Dec 11, 2017-Jan 2, 2018
- D1 Men’s Lacrosse – Aug 8, 2017-Aug 14, 2017; Nov 27, 2017-Dec 23, 2017; Jan 16, 2018-Feb 28, 2018;
- D1 Women’s Lacrosse – Aug 15, 2017-Aug 31, 2017
- D1 Women’s Volleyball – Dec 4, 2017-Dec 12, 2017; Jan 1, 2018-Jan 14, 2018; May 1, 2018-May 25, 2018
- D1 Softball – Nov 20, 2017-Jan 1, 2018
- D1 Women’s Ice Hockey – Monday prior to American Hockey Coaches Association Convention-May 31, 2018
- D1 All Other Sports – None
- D2 Football – Jun 1, 2017-start of HS football season; Mar 13, 2018-May 31, 2018
- D2 Men’s and Women’s Basketball – Jun 1, 2017-Jun 14, 2017; Aug 2, 2017-Sep 6, 2017; Oct 15, 2017-Start of HS competition
- D2 All Other Sports – None