Discussion of NCAA Legislation: Summer Recruiting
During the summer, all three rowing coaches may be off campus recruiting at the same time. During the academic year, only a maximum of two coaches can be off campus recruiting at any one time. In the past, if two coaches were off campus, one would have to return to campus before the third coach headed out for recruiting. New NCAA legislation has changed this so called ‘baton rule’. As long as one of the two coaches out recruiting has completely finished his/her recruiting, the third coach can pick up recruiting. I don’t think this was meant though to have all three coaches at the same location, thus somehow letting all three coaches work the same folks and regatta.
You cannot contact prospects until after all of their competition is completed and they are released by their coaches on the final day of a multi-day competition (e.g. Independence Day Regatta, USRowing Nationals, World Championships).
Evaluations during the summer are unlimited. However, off campus contacts with recruits and / or their parents count against the maximum of three. Whatever recruiting rules apply to a prospect based on her year in school also apply to her parents, except that you can talk to parents while competition is ongoing. But a contact with a parent while the recruit is competing still counts as one of the three contacts.
I think the greatest opportunity for bending/breaking the rules has to do with unavoidable incidental contact. If you are strolling around a regatta site, minding your own business, and a prospect or their parent initiates a greeting to you, you can wave back or say howdy. If they are a senior or the parent of a senior, you haven’t used up a contact. If they are an underclassman or the parent of an underclassman, you haven’t had an illegal contact. You could even say something like “I’m sorry, but because of NCAA rules I’m not allowed to talk with you”. But as soon as you start tossing in a “good race” or “but I’d like to talk to you when you are a senior” type of deal, you are over the line. Remember, the key here is who initiates the greeting. It’s okay if they do, not okay if you do. So the grey area is when somebody puts themselves in a position so that they will get to have incidental contacts. You know, something like standing by the results board for an hour waiting for your favorite sub 7:00 erg to come by and check out her race results. Or just happening to choose a seat in the grandstand right next to the parent of your star recruit. Or standing by the retrieval dock after a race so the crew has to practically dodge you to get their boat back to their slings. Or somehow scoring credentials to the athlete only area at the world championships and putting on your team gear with the largest lettering and going into human billboard mode. On a related note, if you don’t know what year in school somebody is, you must assume that they are not a senior. So if you approach somebody, ask them if they are a senior and they are not, you have violated an NCAA rule by having an improper contact.
Date Issued: Jun 20, 2001 Type: Official Item Ref: 1 Interpretation:
Verbal Contact at Site of Prospect’s Competition-Related Activity. The subcommittee reviewed issues related to recruiting contact at a practice or competition site and determined the following: (a) It is not permissible for an institution’s coaching staff member to contact a prospect by telephone while the prospect is participating in a competition-related activity; and (b) It is not permissible for an institution’s coach to verbally relay information to a prospect through the prospect’s coach while the prospect is participating in a competition-related activity. [References: NCAA Bylaws 13.02.3 (contact) and 18.104.22.168 (practice at competition site)]
Source: NCAA Interpretations Database