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The Recruitment Process

December 21, 2018

By Kendra Paasch

The recruitment process is not something everyone goes through. It is a whole new playing field full of rules and requirements.

Each level has different regulations. Division I, Division II, Division III, and NAIA.

Being recruited by each of these levels, I would say there isn’t much difference. No coach is allowed to contact players before June after their sophomore year (besides Division I). Most coaches will contact athletes through text messages and emails, although sometimes calls occur. In my experience, the coach asks about the experiences happening in my life. They usually end the contact by promoting their college or requesting that I visit the college.

In the athlete’s junior year, the athlete begins visiting colleges unofficially. Their senior year, they can go on official visits. The only difference between the two is that the official visits are paid for by the college whereas the unofficial are not.

The athlete’s senior year is very busy. I personally visited multiple college and decided which fit best. I waited for coaches to make offers and see how expensive each college would be. Then I looked at all the different factors like coaches and past athlete’s success. These helped me determine which school fit me best.

 Usually an athlete tells the college through a verbal commit. This is not legally binding; it is the athlete’s word that she will go to the college. The college will then fill out the paperwork and send the athlete a National Letter of Intent (NLI). A NLI signifies that no other recruiters may contact the athlete once it is signed.

Division I, II and NAIA all have letters of intent. Division III has a paper that is similar but is called a “celebratory signing form.” Division I and II coaches are not allowed to attend the signing ceremonies because of NCAA rules. They are also not allowed to give the athlete any apparel or items from the college for the signing day. The athlete has seven days to sign the NLI and send it back to the college to comply with NCAA rules.

 Once this has all happened, the athlete can sit back and relax. She still must worry about scholarships and medical forms like every other senior, but the hard part is over.

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