With meetings scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of next week, the NCAA is on the verge of implementing yet another set of changes and modifications to the recruiting calendar for both Football Bowls Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision – the sport’s top two levels – that would go into effect immediately, as of June 1.
Per an NCAA release that the organization shared Friday, the FCS on-campus recommendation would be enacted on June 1 and the additional elements would be the new standard beginning August 1.
According to the NCAA’s release:
The football comprehensive recruiting model would modify the FBS and FCS recruiting calendars; adjust the first date to send recruiting materials, electronic correspondence and telephone calls; permit in-person off-campus contacts with high school juniors; reduce off-campus recruiting activities; and, in the Football Championship Subdivision, modify on-campus evaluations.
Perhaps the most noteworthy item to impact both FBS and FCS recruiting is the move to 33 “evaluation days” in the fall months – September, October, November – when designated staff from member institutions can be off-campus to assess potential student-athletes. The United States Service Academy NCAA members – Army, Navy, Air Force – would receive 42 dates for evaluation during that time.
The visits are to be divvied up by each individual program, but the visits must be conducted by only designated staff members.
Periodically, as happened this past fall, some institutions can designate non-coaching personnel – senior analysts, recruiting directors – to carry out off-campus recruiting evaluations due to extenuating circumstances, such as if health conditions are a factor for a full-time assistant coach’s inability to be on the road recruiting.
"We wanted to maintain and strengthen the scholastic recruiting model for football, prioritize coach work-life balance and attention to current student-athletes and rules that are enforceable and monitorable, as well as creating transparency in the recruiting process," Montana Senior Associate Athletics Director Jean Gee said in the NCAA’s release. "The subcommittee developed these recommendations through regular and numerous meetings, review of membership feedback from a variety of constituents and collaboration with FBS and FCS conferences."
Additional items of note, per the NCAA, include the following:
The Monday of the week that includes the initial date for the regular signing period of the National Letter of Intent through the first Sunday in March would be a dead period.
For U.S. service academies, the Friday immediately after the initial date for the regular signing period of the National Letter of Intent through the first Sunday in March would be a quiet period.
At the discretion of the membership school, coaches would have 140 recruiting person days (180 for U.S. service academies) from April 15 through the Saturday preceding Memorial Day for a contact period.
The Sunday before Memorial Day and the next three calendar days would be a dead period.
Also of significance in the proposals, which are expected to be formally enacted after next week’s meetings on the heels of the NCAA’s public release, would be the opening of the contact period of June 15 for rising juniors.
In a major move, per the release, the proposal also would lift restrictions on the number of calls that school staffers could make to a prospective student-athlete once the contact period opens:
Once a school is permitted to initiate a telephone call to an individual, there would not be a limit on the number of calls the school may initiate to that individual.
Another significant part of the proposal clarifies permissible contact with a prospective student-athlete beginning midway through the athlete’s junior year of high school:
Off-campus recruiting contacts could not be made with an individual (or the individual's family members) before Jan. 1 of the individual's junior year in high school.
A school would be limited to eight off-campus, in-person contacts with a prospective student-athlete and the prospect's family members for the prospect's junior and senior years combined.
Contact could occur only one time per week.
Contacts that occur during the prospective student-athlete's junior year in high school could occur only at the prospective student-athlete's educational institution.
Schools would be allowed up to two off-campus contacts during the January contact period of a prospective student-athlete's junior year of high school. A school would also be allowed one off-campus contact during the spring contact period of a prospective student-athlete's junior year of high school.
The head football coach could make only one off-campus contact during the prospective student-athlete's junior year and one off-campus contact during the prospective student-athlete's senior year in high school with a prospect or their family members. The model would not change the off-campus recruiting prohibition of FBS head coaches during the spring contact period.
The NCAA’s entire proposal can be found here: College football's top levels on verge of significant recruiting changes