Biggest Takeaways from NCAA's New Recruiting Rules

Tyler DonohueFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JULY 23: NCAA president Mark Emmert speaks during a press conference at the NCAA's headquarters to announce sanctions against Penn State University's football program on July 23, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The sanctions are a result of a report that the university concealed allegations of child sexual abuse made against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who was found guilty on 45 of 48 counts related to sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year period. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The college football recruiting landscape is being reshaped again. The NCAA announced the adoption of several rule alterations on Wednesday, according to a release issued by the governing body of collegiate athletics.

These rules address different stages of the recruiting cycle, and are effective immediately. The NCAA also provided an explanation of the necessity to explore these mandates:

The new rules emerged after months of research into recruiting issues identified by football coaches. That research included surveys of both student-athletes and coaches and was conducted by a subcommittee of the division’s Leadership Council.

The NCAA made sure to consult both ends of the equation in the recruiting process, approaching both program administration and players. It provided an opportunity for open dialogue about issues that arise in the current state of nationwide recruiting.

The changes pinpoint separate dynamics in the recruiting spectrum.


The establishment of an 8-week summer participation time frame.

Summer involvement is addressed in the new rules, which permit players to "participate in preparations for the season during an eight-week period each summer." Those can include eight hours per week of "required weight training and conditioning," permitting two of those allotted hours to be used in film study.

Coaching titans like Nick Saban and Les Miles must adjust to new rules.
Coaching titans like Nick Saban and Les Miles must adjust to new rules.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Instituted ban on in-person coach-recruit contact during dead periods and postseason all-star activity.

Another rule focused on coach-recruit contact shortly after the high school football season concludes. College coaches are prohibited from "attending an all-star game or activities associated with those games." The rule also bans in-person contact between players and coaches during the duration of these postgame event periods.

That means coaches will be logging less mileage in late December and early January, when the majority of these high school all-star games occur. This is a time when many recruits announce their commitments.

Coaches can spend even more time recovering from the rigors of a long season during the opening stages of the offseason. The NCAA will enforce an "extended dead period" that eliminates in-person recruiting between Dec. 16-Jan. 15 this year. 

The NCAA also established "a 14-day dead period in late June and early July." The dates for that dead period in 2014 weren't specified in the release. 


Allowance of financial aid for prospect guests during official visits.

The final rule handed down by the NCAA pertains to meal payments during official recruiting visits. It "allows schools to pay for meals for up to four family members who accompany a recruit on an official visit."

Many recruits are joined by parents, siblings, friends or extended family during these visits. The trips provide an opportunity for prospects and their guests to experience a full-scale tour of team facilities and educational options.

Many recruits come from low-income households, so this allows guests to attend without substantially paying out of pocket.

These rules signify the NCAA's continued effort to keep up with a rapidly evolving recruiting spectrum. Keep a close eye on how they impact the final stretch of this recruiting cycle.