Athletes & Parents,
You have likely heard rumblings of the recent landmark decision by the NCAA as it relates to the lacrosse-specific college recruiting process. Please see below for a general breakdown.
· On Friday April 14, 2017, the NCAA Division I Council voted to enact the proposal put forth by the IWLCA (Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association) and the IMLCA (Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association), namely “proposal 2017-1”, aka the “early recruiting” proposal
· This passage is a culmination of a multi-year, multi-organization effort designed to formally slow down the recruiting process, which had evolved to see prospective student athletes (PSAs) as young as eighth grade verbally commit to college
· Notably, the new legislation became effective immediately (4/14/17), removing any implementation time gap, and the resulting scramble that could have ensued
· CLICK HERE to read the formal legislation. The NCAA is in the process of preparing interpretations and clarifications for release. Should there be a material change, we will follow-up.
What exactly changed on 4/14?
1. No recruiting contact is permitted between prospective student athletes (PSAs), or relatives/guardians, and college coaches until September 1st of PSA’s junior year in HS – specifically, inbound phone calls are no longer permitted
· Previously, “inbound” phone calls (PSA calls college coach) were permitted at any age. This resulted in club/school coaches brokering and/or facilitating recruiting conversations in which PSAs would initiate by calling college coaches throughout the process. Ultimately, this is how verbal commitments took place
2. Unofficial on campus visits are not permitted until September 1 of PSA’s junior year
· Previously, this was a common practice in the early stages of the recruiting process, and could begin anytime. Between phone conversations and unofficial visits, the recruiting process had no de facto start date.
· PSAs can still visit college campuses, but may not meet with coaching staff
3. Off campus visits are permitted on Sept. 1 of PSA’s junior year, but must be at PSA’s school or home
What does this mean for me:
· 2019s: Coaches have likely seen you play, and schools that still have availability in the 2019 class will continue to consider and watch you this summer. If you were previously in the process with a school or schools, those conversations will resume next fall (2017). If you have already verbally committed, communication will resume next fall. Use the extra time to your advantage.
· 2020s: Coaches may have already started to watch you, and will continue to do so this summer and beyond, but you now have more time to focus on your development (both on and off the field). This is a good thing! If you were previously in the process with a school or schools, those conversations will not resume until fall of 2018. Similarly, if you have already verbally committed, communication will resume in the fall of 2018. Use the extra time to your advantage.
· 2021s: Reset your focus to development. Coaches now know that they have plenty of time to see you progress during your freshmen and sophomore years. However good you are now, you have the opportunity to be better. At the highest level, coaches may give initial looks this summer, but will likely start to really watch you next year. If you were previously in the process with a school or schools, those conversations will not resume until fall of 2019. If not, your process of contact with college coaches will begin in the fall of 2019. Use the extra time to your advantage.
· To date, the legislation was passed for Division I only. Division II/III adjustments remain to be seen.
· If you had previously been in communication with college coaches, communication became impermissible immediately on 4/14/17, so do not be surprised by the immediate “darkness”. While it seemed abrupt, a gap between the decision and implementation would have likely created a significant scramble for early commitments prior to implementation. Many felt strongly that this would not be in the best interest of student athletes.
· Schools that had availability/interest prior to 4/14 likely still do, but it is important that you continue to do your research, play in front of coaches, and be prepared to re-start your process when it is permissible. Do not assume it will pick up exactly where it left off. Use the time to your advantage; to further research schools, develop your game, work hard in your classes and on standardized tests, and put yourself in the best possible position as a prospective student athlete.
· Role of Club/HS Coaches:
o We believe the intention of the legislation is not to further entrench HS/Club coaches as conduits to PSAs. The language has been stated by the IWLCA and IMLCA as follows:
§ Club/school coaches may NOT be used to circumvent recruiting contact rules.
§ Direct messaging to PSAs through these third parties is NOT permissible.
§ Communication about verbal offers through these third parties is NOT permissible.
o It is our understanding that it is permissible for college coaches to discuss a PSA with a club/school coach as it relates to an evaluation of ability, character, and fit for program. Comprehensive interpretation is forthcoming.
o Remember, the ultimate purpose is to give PSAs more time to develop, to make a more informed decision about their future, and to give college coaches more time to evaluate a PSA as a fit for their program.
· Inbound emails (PSA to coaches)
o As we understand it, PSAs are still able to send electronic communication informing coaches about their upcoming events, schedule, academic information, and recruiting profile/video.
o Note that coaches will not be permitted to respond to any communication, prior to September 1 of junior year, as was previously the case.
· You can still communicate with coaches who host camps and clinics about camp/clinic logistics
o College affiliate camps/clinics provide a beneficial development opportunity, and a unique opportunity to interact with, and be coached by, college coaches and student athletes.
· As with any significant change, there will be a learning curve for all involved, to include college coaches as they adjust their recruiting strategies. It is important that all lacrosse families become familiar with the rules, and hold themselves, and their potential future collegiate program(s) accountable for compliant behavior throughout the recruiting process.
In our opinion, this is a very good thing, and should be welcomed by the lacrosse community with open arms. It is inherently in the best interest of the student athlete to delay the college decision to later in his or her scholastic career. This gives young student athletes more time to focus on their game and schoolwork, continue to play other sports, and make a more informed decision about their future, as a junior in high school (at the earliest).
We believe strongly in the development of the student athlete, as a student, a lacrosse player, an athlete, a teammate, and a person. We strongly believe in the value of being a multi-sport athlete. We maintain that if you become the best student athlete you can be, and efficiently, strategically, and actively allocate your resources in the recruiting process, you will create positive opportunities.
Become the best student athlete and person you can be, and put yourself in a position to achieve the highest level of academics and athletics. Know that this will open doors to academic, athletic, and professional opportunity. Know that this focus will stand you in good stead in life, at the collegiate level, and someday, in the post-collegiate professional world.
Ashley Gersuk Murphy
CEO, Summit Lacrosse Ventures
Summit Lacrosse Ventures LLC
720.609.2324 (office) | 303.265.9733 (fax)