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NCAA Rules

The NCAA rulebook is thicker than the yellow pages. Following some basic rules will keep you out of trouble. However, you do need to understand some specifics of person-to-person contact.

Telephone calls

In all sports other than football and basketball, phone calls FROM coaches can take place on or after the following dates.

NCAA D1 – College coaches can place 1 call weekly starting July 1 after junior year.
NCAA D2 – College coaches can place 1 call per week starting June 15th after completion of your junior year.
NCAA D3 – Unlike D1 and D2, there are no restrictions as to when a D3 coach can call a prospect in high school. The NCAA feels that smaller D3 schools do not have the time, money, or resources to abuse this privilege, which will often be true.

Note: In any grade, coaches may RECEIVE calls from students who are paying for the call at ANY TIME. However, if a message is left, the coach cannot return the call until the proper time.

Official visits

Division 1 – You are allowed 5 official visits to different schools of your choice (provided the school has invited you). In order to go on an official visit, you need to provide the college your current transcript on an official school document and your PSAT/SAT/ACT score. Official visits are paid for by the school and include round-trip transportation, lodging, food, and tickets to a game for you and in some instances for your parents. Official visits cannot exceed 48 hours.

Division 2 – The same rules apply for official visits for D2 schools. Regardless of the division classification of the schools you visit, you are allowed 5 total official visits at the NCAA D1 and D2 level. As long as you only use five official visits, they can be broken up as you chose between D1 and D2 schools.

Division 3 – You are allowed the same expense paid official visit to a D3 school as to a D1 or D2 school. While you can only make 1 per school, you can visit as many schools as you would like, as the limit of 5 does not apply for D3 schools. Many D3 schools cannot offer paid official visits due to the expense of bringing a student athlete to their campus.

Athletic eligibility

The NCAA Clearinghouse processes ALL inquiries regarding an individual’s initial eligibility status to play NCAA D1 and D2 athletics. If you have aspirations of playing college athletics you MUST register with the NCAA Clearinghouse by the end of your junior year. NO EXCEPTIONS!

The quick facts

NCAA D1 and D2 have standardized minimum academic requirements for S-A’s entering college. If you want to play, you have to register and qualify according to the requirements. No one is exempt! (Except D3 bound S-A’s, they do not have to register with the Clearinghouse)

Register at the end of your Junior Year by going to and/or working with your HS guidance counselor to get all the necessary documentation.

If you attended more than one HS, you need official transcripts from each school, mailed directly to the Clearinghouse. Don’t mail them yourself.

The Clearinghouse is in NO way part of the admissions process to a particular college.

NCAA member institutions (schools recruiting you) will request your information from the clearinghouse, you will never send it to anyone yourself.

You must submit a final transcript of your HS grades to the Clearinghouse when you graduate.

How is eligibility calculated?

The NCAA Clearinghouse uses a sliding scale that compares your GPA and SAT/ACT scores. Unfortunately, most schools have far higher standards than what the NCAA Clearinghouse sets, so it’s possible to be eligible according to the NCAA Clearinghouse, but not get accepted to many individual colleges. The NCAA Clearinghouse doesn’t make admission decisions – only schools make admission decisions.

Core course requirements
In order to be eligible, you must also complete 16 core courses in high school, as follows:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of math (Algebra1 or higher)
  • 2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab)
  • 1 year of additional English, math or natural/physical science
  • 2 years of social science
  • 4 years of additional courses (from any are a above or foreign language, 
non-doctrinal religion/philosophy, computer science)
  • You must earn a combined SAT or ACT sum score that matches your core- course grade-point average and test score sliding scale (for example, a 2.400 core-course grade-point average needs an 860 SAT).

Note: D2 eligibility is slightly different, requiring 3 yrs of English and 2 yrs of additional English, math or natural/physical science as opposed to 4 and 1 listed for D1, as well as 3 years of additional courses.

**The NCAA Clearinghouse Web site has a list of all high schools and approved core courses at those schools. If you are in doubt about a particular class, research your school and classes online or ask your counselor.

Junior College Requirements. You need to graduate from high school.

NAIA Requirements. You need to meet of the following criteria:

  • Score 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SATs;
  • Have a GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  • Graduate in the top 1/2 of your high school class.

Financial aid

Financial Aid is often a resource that many families fail to take advantage of.

There is far more money in financial aid and grants than there is athletic scholarship money. There are many types of aid, so don’t dismiss any school due to cost until you have explored all the financial possibilities at your disposal. While there will be many schools out of your reach financially, you may also find many colleges offering generous financial aid packages based on your need and your academic record. Smaller and less well-known colleges will often offer more aid to students in an attempt to attract more talented students to their school.

The Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) has established a number for more assistance. Their number is 1-800-433-3243. They also publish The Student Guide: Financial Aid from the US Department of Education, which can be obtained free of charge. The FAFSA Web site will also have detailed information on the process.

Grants are free money based on your FAFSA, your interests or your merits.

Institutional scholarships. Check out what kind of grades and test scores you need to be automatically qualified for merit scholarships. You may be eligible for full rides at some schools.

Private scholarships are those that you may spend hours searching online. Apply for as many private scholarships as possible, including local and national awards.

Financial aid federal loans
Apply for federal money by filling out the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1st of your senior year. Don’t borrow more than you need!

Plus loans
PLUS loans are loans your parents take out to put toward your higher education. They may borrow up to the full amount of your education, incl tuition, books, travel, and fees.

Private loans
Like federal loans, private loans help you pay for school that you have to pay back. Apply through banks or loan company.

Where can I get the FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?
You can get the FAFSA form at Federal Student Aid website and apply online.

When does the form need to be submitted?
A soon as you can “after” January 1 of your senior year. Colleges will need your financial aid information with your application!

What type of information will I need to provide with the FAFSA form?

  • Students Social Security Number
  • Student’s income tax returns, W-2, & 1099 Forms.
  • Parent’s income tax returns, W-2, & 1099 forms for previous year.
  • Bank statements and mortgage information.
- Records of untaxed income.
  • Information regarding stocks, bonds, & mutual funds that your family holds.
  • Information on childcare costs, medical expenses, and other unusual family expenses.

Researching schools

One of the common misconceptions in recruiting is believing that athletes are discovered. While the very best high school athletes that play in high level traveling programs and showcase camps may be discovered, most college coaches rely on student-athletes contacting them. The most successful recruits are usually those who possessed a combination of athletic skill and academic talent and worked hard to research different colleges that might be a potential fit for their skills and desires. As we stated earlier, there are over 1,000 NCAA colleges at 3 levels, and it’s important to explore all your options. The goal of the recruiting process is not simply to get recruited by colleges, but to recruit your own schools. You are as much a part of the process as the coach is.

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