Armstrong Falcons Girls Basketball: College Recruiting Information

Preparing for Success
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Handout: Preparing for Success

The College Recruiting Process
Questionnaires
Only 1 per school – anytime.  They should not contact you after you send the questionnaire
back in.  We recommend you send any and all back in that you are even REMOTELY
interested.  Don’t rule out many schools, early in the process.   Also understand the
schools send out hundreds of questionnaires to players all over the country.  When you
respond to the questionnaires, you are merely getting into their data base.  This will create
a list of players they will watch during the upcoming AAU season.  It is then up to you to
determine whether or not the school will continue in the recruiting process with you.  If you
are someone they are really interested in, they may contact your high school coach and
show up to a high school game.  When returning questionnaires, it is perfectly acceptable
to have a Generic Resume of the information they are asking for printed up.  You can then
easily attach this ‘resume’ to the questionnaire and send it back. Many players do this
without filling out each individual form for each school, but remember to attach their
questionnaire to the top!

Written Correspondence
Schools may begin contacting via written correspondence on September 1st of the athlete’
s junior school year.  Written correspondence includes letters, emails, text messaging, and
instant messaging (msn, etc).  The athlete or family may initiate correspondence by phone
call or email at ANYTIME, however, if the athlete is not yet a junior, the college coach MAY
NOT return the email or phone call.  The college coach MUST communicate through the
high school or AAU coach.

Communication
Schools may communicate with you freely if you are on their campus for a game, visit,
camp, etc – provided it is not during a “dead period (see below).”

Phone Calls
No phone calls may be made until Spring of the athlete’s junior year.  Below are the rules
for phone calls…
April 1-30        1 phone call per school                        May 1-30        1 phone call per school
June 1-20        1 phone call per school                        June 21-30        1 phone call per school
July         3 phone calls per school (not more than 1 per week) but NOT during Evaluation
period OR while recruits team is at a Tournament.  For 2006, no phone calls, emails, or text
messages may take place between July 6-15 & 22-31.  
Aug & after        1 phone call per week per school
See above about phone calls initiated by the athlete or family.  

Unofficial Visit(s)
The athlete and family may visit a campus anytime unofficially as long as all expenses are
paid by the athlete’s family.  Schools may provide 3 complimentary tickets for any home
game to the athlete and family.  We recommend you visit 2-3 schools as early as your
sophomore year.  Usually Fall and late Spring are the best times for the schools.  Campus
tours, visiting with the coaching staff, & attending a practice and/or game are great ways to
get to know a school better.

Official Visit(s)
Official visits are trips where expenses are paid by the recruiting school.  Each athlete may
only make 5 official visits and NOT before the first day of school of their senior year.  You
can only take ONE official visit per school.  It is common that official visits take place after
the recruit as verbally committed to the school, given that many times the verbal
commitment is made prior to the start of their senior school year.  Even if you have verbally
committed, you are still entitled to an official (school paid expenses) visit.  This has
changed dramatically over the last 5 years.  In the past it was not uncommon for a highly
recruited player to take all 5 unofficial visits and many players would take 2 or 3.  Now most
colleges won’t offer official visits unless the recruit has told them they are in the recruit’s
top 2 or 3 schools.  Also the recruiting timeline is continually getting pushed up with most
players with scholarship offers committing to schools before the start of their senior year in
high school.

Scholarship Offers
Schools may offer a full-ride scholarship at any time, but they MUST follow the contact rules
above to do so.  Offers float above your ahead and will stay there until you are notified by the
school that a deadline is approaching.  It is possible that a school will give you a deadline
at the same time as the initial offer.  

Schools will also generally make offers when they get you on campus.  This gives the
entire staff a chance to get to know you and this is when most schools make scholarship
offers.  So if a college coach calls your high school coach or AAU coach and is really
encouraging them to get you to make an unofficial visit to the school, and you are interested
in attending school there, you should make every effort to arrange a visit to this school.  At
this point pick up the phone and call the head coach or recruiting coordinator and arrange a
visit.  

General Recruiting Information
As the recruiting process evolves in your unique situation many things will happen that will
seem difficult and trying to the student athlete and parents.  As the recruiting process gets
to the point of the winter and spring of your Junior year, college coaches will begin to
develop lists of kids they will recruit in the upcoming spring and summer based on their
particular need.  If you find yourself on one or ten college coaches recruiting list then you
will fall into different categories of the list.  Every college coach will have somewhere
between 1-5 spots available for scholarships.   One category you could fall into would be
the top recruit at the position a college has a need.  For example they may tell you that you
are the top guard recruit they are going after.  This is obviously a good spot to be in as they
will generally give you a longer time to make up your mind about their school and offer.  The
second spot you may find yourself in is that you are second or third choice on their list of
players.  Don’t feel bad if they tell you this, they are being honest with you.  At least you are
still on their list.  What can happen real quick in the recruiting game is the top 2 kids a
school was recruiting, commit elsewhere and all of a sudden you move to the top of the list
and they are after you with a scholarship offer.  

Verbal Commitments
When an athlete makes a verbal commitment, it is unethical but possible that competing
schools will continue to try and recruit the athlete.  When this happens, you should notify
us.  It is appropriate and necessary for the high school coach to do a “press release” about
the commitment.  It can be an email that is sent to area and state newspapers.  It is
common for the athlete, high school coach, and AAU coach (if the athlete thinks it is
appropriate for the AAU coach to comment) to have quotes in the release.  It is ILLEGAL for
college coaches to publicly comment (newspaper or TV) on a recruit until AFTER the Letter
of Intent is signed.

National Letter of Intent Signing
Signing of the National Letter of Intent (NLI) does not take place until their senior school
year.  The earliest signing period is in November but there are several opportunities to sign
throughout their senior year.  The scholarship is not official until the school has received
the signed Letter of Intent.

Supplements
Do NOT take any supplement without getting it approved by a certified athletic trainer.  If you
have verbally committed or have signed your NLI, the supplement NEEDS to be checked
out by that program’s certified athletic trainer.  Failure to do so can put you at risk of losing
collegiate eligibility
.

Clearinghouse
Athletes should register for the NCAA Academic Clearinghouse no later than their junior
school year.  This can be done online and with the help of the school’s guidance
counselor.  If the counselor does not understand this process, visit with the principal, but
make SURE this gets done!

Communication
There is a level of maturity and responsibility that goes along with recruiting.  You are
representing more than just yourself.  You represent your family, your school, community,
and summer program.  Please remember this as you make choices regarding your
communication habits with colleges.  Colleges only want you to be honest with them.  They
will continue to recruit you until the moment you tell them you are not interested.  They
cannot read your mind; however, they WANT TO KNOW immediately when you have
decided that there school is no longer an option for you.  Even though you might not want to
hurt their feelings, or you think they’ll be mad at you, THEY WANT TO KNOW!  As hard as it
is to imagine, there are many other players at your skill level that they can recruit with their
time and efforts.  Once you have told them “no,” it respectfully allows them to shift their
efforts towards other players.

It is important that you communicate in a timely manner with schools that you are
interested in, whether they have offered you a scholarship or not.  If they email you, it is
appropriate that you respond in a timely and respectful manner (with in 2-3 days max).  
They don’t need a novel back, and if you are extremely busy, shoot them a one-line email
that says that.  Lastly, schools that have offered you a scholarship deserve better
communication.  If they communicate with you, you owe it to them to respond right away.  If
it’s not that important to you, then you should probably start thinking about eliminating them
from your list.