New NCAA recruiting rules officially went into effect on May 1, 2019, affecting a wide range of college sports including men’s and women’s soccer. The rules are aiming to curb early recruiting activity with stricter regulations on communication between college coaches and high school players.
For NCAA Division I men’s and women’s soccer, the new rules include the following:
No communication with a coach until June 15 of sophomore year
No official or unofficial visits until August 1 of junior year
No verbal offers until August 1 of junior year
Although official forms of communication between college coaches and high school players will now be allowed slightly earlier in the recruiting process, the new rules will eliminate the ability for unofficial verbal offers prior to August 1 ahead of the player’s junior year of high school.
Recruiting conversations between college coaches and intermediaries such as parents, club coaches and high school coaches, will also be forbidden prior to June 15 following the player’s sophomore year of high school. Before that date, no recruiting conversations of any kind are allowed, including discussions of scholarships or financial aid.
However, college coaches will still be allowed to communicate with club and high school coaches to discuss freshman and sophomore players that the college coach is interested in recruiting. Those conversations will be strictly limited to college coaches discussing players they are specifically interested in, rather than allowing for the solicitation of college coaches.
Moving forward, college coaches will be allowed to discuss freshman or sophomore recruits with club/high school coaches, but only if that coach is interested in recruiting them. College coaches cannot make unofficial offers or discuss support in admissions or any other form of financial aid.