How Much Eligibility Does a Recruit Have?


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By Matt Sonnichsen, NCSA Volleyball Director of Relations

The rule of thumb is that each recruit has 5 years to play 4. However, the NAIA has less restricted rules and a transfer has more opportunities to use all 4 years at the NAIA level then they do at the NCAA level.

NAIA clock = For NAIA colleges and universities your eligibility remains intact as long as you have not been full-time for 10 semesters, or you have not received your Bachelor's degree from any college or university. You will lose a semester of eligibility for each semester you have competed at the college level.

NCAA Five-year clock = In Division I, the first time you enroll in any two-year or four-year school as a full-time student, you start your five-year period of eligibility. You have five-calendar years from initial collegiate enrollment to play four seasons of competition -- even if you are not enrolled in school at all or attend school part-time within that time frame.

NCAA 10-semester/15-quarter clock = In Division II and III, you have 10-semesters or 15-quarters in which to complete all your seasons of competition. You use one of your 10-semesters or 15-quarters every semester or quarter you attended a two-year or four-year college and are enrolled full-time or are enrolled part-time and compete. Unlike Division I, in Division II or III, you are not charged during a term that you are not enrolled in school or attend school part-time.

Example: A recruit graduates from high school in 2012 and then enrolls full-time in the fall of 2012 at a college/university. They attend school as a full-time student for 6 semesters (3 years), but does not compete and has not graduated college yet. -Still has 4 years of eligibility at an NAIA school.-May have up to 2 years of eligibility at a NCAA school.

Want to read more? Check out the info below...NCAA Transfer GuidePlay NAIA

Check out what is new with the NCAA...

The NCAA Eligibility Center has launched a new website to help high school student-athletes successfully transition to college. The enhanced online content gives student-athletes and counselors a broad look at the initial-eligibility process and detailed information about common initial-eligibility situations. Student-athletes are guided through current and upcoming initial-eligibility requirements, recruiting guidelines, and timelines for staying on track in high school. Additional webpages address eligibility situations unique to international, home-school and non-traditional students. A wide range of frequently-asked questions addressing issues from academic and amateurism eligibility to high school and core-course review are easily searchable and will be expanded in the future.A new section for high school staff at NCAA.org/eligibilitycenter introduces the initial-eligibility process to counselors who are new to the NCAA and provides quick tips and important documents for seasoned counselors. High school staff and athletics personnel will find immediate access to initial-eligibility printouts, videos and tutorials here Please share NCAA.org/playcollegesports and NCAA.org/eligibilitycenter with your student-athletes, and their families. Follow the NCAA on Twitter @NCAA_EC.

NCAA Jargon 101...

What is a contact? A contact occurs any time a college coach says more than hello during a face-to-face contact with a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents off the college's campus.

What is a contact period? During a contact period a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.

What is an evaluation period? During an evaluation period a college coach may watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college's campus during an evaluation period.

What is a quiet period? During a quiet period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write or telephone college-bound student-athletes or their parents during this time.

What is a dead period? During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.

What is the difference between an official visit and an unofficial visit? Any visit to a college campus by a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents paid for by the college is an official visit. Visits paid for by college-bound student-athletes or their parents are unofficial visits.

During an official visit the college can pay for transportation to and from the college for the prospect, lodging and three meals per day for both the prospect and the parent or guardian, as well as reasonable entertainment expenses including three tickets to a home sports event

The only expenses a college-bound student-athlete may receive from a college during an unofficial visit are three tickets to a home sports event.

What is a National Letter of Intent? A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete when the student-athlete agrees to attend a Division I or II college or university for one academic year. Participating institutions agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is admitted to the school and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. Other forms of financial aid do not guarantee the student-athlete financial aid.

The National Letter of Intent is voluntary and not required for a student-athlete to receive financial aid or participate in sports.

Signing a National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process since participating schools are prohibited from recruiting student-athletes who have already signed letters with other participating schools.

A student-athlete who has signed a National Letter of Intent may request a release from his or her contract with the school. If a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent with one school but attends a different school, he or she will lose one full year of eligibility and must complete a full academic year at their new school before being eligible to compete.

What are recruiting calendars? Recruiting calendars help promote the well-being prospective student-athletes and coaches and ensure competitive equity by defining certain time periods in which recruiting may or may not occur in a particular sport.

NCSA Athletic Recruiting is the Official Partner of the JVA. For more education on the volleyball recruiting process click here.


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