In April, the NCAA Division 1 Council announced changes to recruiting rules to more closely align with that of the general student body.
“We feel strongly that it’s an incredible enhancement to our current situation and how students are being recruited,” said Justin Sell, athletics director at South Dakota State and chair of the Student-Athlete Experience Committee. “At the end of the day, these changes will eliminate students in the ninth grade and younger being recruited while still providing access to our campuses early enough to make informed financial and educational decisions on where to go for college.”
On Monday, Aug. 5, high school juniors (Class of 2021) can begin taking official visits to colleges, as well as have off-campus contact with members of a college. While the official date for sports other than basketball, football, men’s hockey, lacrosse, softball and baseball was set for Thursday, Aug. 1, the NCAA imposed a dead period for wrestling that takes place July 28-August 4, which is the Monday before the NWCA Convention through the day of adjournment of the convention. During the dead period, college wrestling coaches cannot have face-to-face contact with a recruit or their family. They are permitted from watching a recruit in person or visiting their high school during the dead period. However, during the dead period college wrestling coaches can continue to correspond with a recruit by writing, texting or calling.
Let’s examine when various types of recruiting can occur in wrestling after this year’s changes to the recruiting rules. These dates vary by sport.
Receive recruiting materials from college wrestling coaches: Anytime
Wrestlers can receive recruiting materials from college wrestling coaches anytime. This could include things such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.
Have electronic correspondence with college wrestling coaches and receive calls: June 15 after sophomore year
Beginning on June 15 after a wrestler’s sophomore year, college wrestling coaches can make calls and send all forms of private electronic correspondence, including text messages, instant messages, direct messages and email. College wrestling coaches can also call.
Take official visits to colleges and have off-campus contact with coaches: August 5 before junior year
Wrestlers can take official and unofficial college visits starting on August 5 before their junior year. Prior to this year, official visits weren’t permitted until September 1 of the wrestler’s junior year of high school. Wrestlers can take unofficial visits prior to this date, but coaches are not allowed to be involved in a wrestling recruit’s unofficial visit.
Want more information on the recruiting process? Check out Parent to parent: What you really need to know about recruiting, The role of the high school coach in the college recruiting process and 10 things wrestlers, parents and coaches should know about NLI’s.