Phone Calls and Electronic Communications
According to NCAA rules, after a prospective student-athlete reaches Sept. 1 of their junior year of high school they can begin to have direct communication via phone and electronic communication with Division I and II coaches. Student-athletes can begin to have contact with Division III coaches earlier than their junior year. While communication between coach and student-athlete is allowed, there are several rules and guidelines that must be followed.
Prospective student-athletes may receive brochures for camps and questionnaires at any time during their freshmen and sophomore years in high school from Division I and II colleges. These brochures and questionnaires cannot contain any direct recruiting information, and must be directed to the general public. After Sept. 1 of the student-athlete's junior year in high school, they may receive printed recruiting materials from Division I and II colleges. A student-athlete may receive printed recruiting materials from a Division III college at any time.
During a prospective student-athlete's sophomore year in high school, they may call a college coach at their own expense, but Division I and II coaches cannot call the student-athlete. After July 1 following the student-athlete's junior year, Division I coaches may call them once per week. After June 15, Division II coaches may call them once per week. The student-athlete is still able to call the Division I and II coaches at any time at their own expense. Division III coaches do not have a limit on when they may call a student-athlete, and the student-athlete may call a Division III coach at any time.
Before Sept. 1 of a prospective student-athlete's junior year in high school, Division I and Division II college coaches may only send questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic recruiting publications and NCAA educational information to a prospective student-athlete. While student-athletes may email coaches during this time, the coaches can only respond with the items listed above. After the student-athlete reaches Sept. 1 of their junior year of high school, Division I and Division II coaches may begin emailing other recruiting materials, such as personalized letters, media guides, schedules and official academic and admissions publications. The coaches may continue to email questionnaires, camp information and NCAA educational information as well. Division III college coaches may send prospective student-athletes recruiting materials at any time.
Text messages are treated in the same way as emails. Before Sept. 1 of a student-athlete's junior year of high school, Division I and Division II college coaches are not permitted to send text messages to prospective student-athletes. After Sept. 1 of a student-athlete's junior year of high school, the coaches may send text messages, but all conversations must be private until a National Letter of Intent is signed. Division III college coaches may send text messages to prospective student-athletes at any time.
Social Media Interactions
College coaches may initiate or accept a "friend" or a "follow" request from prospective student-athletes on social media at any time. However, social media falls under the same rules as email, in that a direct or private message via social media are only allowed after the prospective student-athlete has passed Sept. 1 of their junior year in high school. This rule includes all social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Snapchat. College coaches may publicly communicate with a student-athlete via social media walls after the student-athlete has signed a valid National Letter of Intent to attend the coach's school.