Nov. 3, 2016 – Recruiting Coordination Functions

For those unaware of what recruiting actions athletics department staff members could take, here is a helpful chart distinguishing between coaches, graduate assistant coaches (FTB, WCRW) and non-coaching staff members with sport-specific responsibilities, managers and non-countable coaches. The key distinction relates to the ability of coaches and graduate assistants to engage in athletics evaluation activities and place phone to prospect/parents/legal guardians/coaches.

This chart will undoubtedly lead to some controversy, similar to the publication of a chart that distinguished what coaches and non-coaching staff members could/could not do from a coaching standpoint.

 

Bylaw 11.7.2 — Recruiting Coordination Functions (I)

 I 
 November 03, 2016 
 1 

Editor’s Note: The following educational column was written to assist the membership with applying NCAA Division I Bylaw 11.7.2 (recruiting coordination functions).

Recruiting Duties Who May Perform  
Activity Countable Coach1 Graduate Assistant Coach FBS Football & Women’s Rowing2 Noncoaching Staff Members with Sport-Specific Responsibilites, Noncountable Coaches & Managers
On-campus evaluations3 Yes Yes No
Off-campus evaluations Yes No No
Film evaluations Yes Yes No
Initiate outgoing telephone calls to prospective student-athletes, a prospective student-athlete’s parents, legal guardians or coaches Yes Yes No

(See Exceptions in Bylaw 11.7.2.3)

Receive incoming telephone calls from prospective student-athletes or a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians Yes Yes Yes
Receive incoming telephone calls from a prospective student-athlete’s coach or any other individual responsible for teaching or directing an activity in which a prospective student-athlete is involved Yes Yes Yes

(With Content Restriction4)

Prepare, send or receive general or electronic correspondence for prospective student-athletes or a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians Yes Yes Yes
Prepare, send or receive general or electronic correspondence for a prospective student-athlete’s coach or any other individual responsible for teaching or directing an activity in which a prospective student-athlete is involved Yes Yes Yes

(With Content Restriction)

1 Head coach or one or more of the assistant coaches who count toward the numerical limitations in Bylaw 11.7.6.

2 Provided the coach has successfully completed the coaches’ certification exam.

3 Per Bylaw 11.7.2 not Bylaw 13.11.2.1.

4 Content Restriction: noncoaching staff members with sport-specific responsibilities, noncountable coaches and managers may not engage in conversations (e.g., incoming telephone calls, correspondence) with a prospect’s coach that includes content related to athletics evaluations or the selection of prospects as these are recruiting coordination functions that must be performed by countable coaches.  There are no restrictions on the content of the discussion when engaging in conversations (e.g., incoming telephone calls, correspondence) with the prospect or the prospect’s parents or legal guardians.

Questions and Answer

Off-Campus Evaluations, Banquets or Meetings

Question No. 1: May a noncoaching staff member with sport-specific responsibilities visit a high school to greet high school coaches provided no recruiting conversations occur?

Answer No. 1: No.  A visit to a prospective student-athlete’s educational institution counts as an athletics evaluation, which is considered a recruiting coordination function that must be performed by the head coach or one or more of the assistant coaches who count toward the sport’s numerical limitations.

Question No. 2:  May a noncoaching staff member with sport-specific responsibilities speak at a meeting or banquet?

Answer No. 2:  Yes, provided the banquet or meeting is not conducted primarily to recognize prospective student-athletes (e.g., high school awards banquet, high school all-star banquet).  However, any speaking engagements occurring at a prospective student-athlete’s educational institution, that use an evaluation, must be performed by the head coach or one or more of the assistant coaches who count towards the sport’s numerical limitations.

Question No. 3:  May a noncoaching staff member with sport-specific responsibilities attend a high school coaches association social function?

Answer No. 3:  Yes.  But the noncoaching staff member with sport-specific responsibilities may not engage in conversations regarding athletics evaluations or the selection of prospects with a prospective student-athlete’s coach or any other individual responsible for teaching or directing an activity in which a prospective student-athlete is involved.

Film Evaluations

Question No. 4: May a noncoaching staff member with sport-specific responsibilities conduct an evaluation of a prospective student-athlete’s game film?

Answer No. 4: No.  Conducting a film evaluation is an activity that involves athletics evaluations and the selection of prospects, which are considered recruiting coordination functions that must be performed by the head coach or one or more of the assistant coaches who count toward the sport’s numerical limitations.

Question No. 5: May a noncoaching staff member with sport-specific responsibilities prepare a prospective student-athlete’s game film for viewing (e.g., compile and edit clips)?

Answer No. 5: Yes.  Preparing film is a routine clerical task that is not considered a recruiting coordination function.

Question No. 6: May a noncoaching staff member with sport-specific responsibilities screen a batch of 100 prospective student-athletes’ game films and select the films for the coaching staff to evaluate?

Answer No. 6: No.  Screening film is an activity that involves the selection of prospects, which is considered a recruiting coordination function that must be performed by the head coach or one or more of the assistant coaches who count toward the sport’s numerical limitations.  However, if the screening is based on some objective standard of performance or criteria (e.g., 100-yard dash time, level of educational institution, age, etc.), then the activity is considered a routine clerical task that is not considered a recruiting coordination function.

Telephone Calls and Correspondence

Question No. 7: May a noncoaching staff member with sport-specific responsibilities call a high school coach to solicit their attendance to the institution’s coaches’ clinic?

Answer No. 7: No.  A noncoaching staff member may not initiate outgoing telephone calls to high school coaches, unless it relates solely to institutional camp or clinic logistical issues, provided no recruiting conversations or solicitation of particular individuals to attend a camp or clinic occurs during such call.  However, a noncoaching staff member may prepare and send electronic correspondence (e.g., e-mail, text message) to the high school coach soliciting their attendance at the institution’s coaches’ clinic or requesting the high school coach to call them to discuss.

[References: Bylaws 11.7.2 (recruiting coordination function), 11.7.2.1 (exception -- graduate assistant coach -- bowl subdivision football), 11.7.2.2 (exception graduate -- assistant coach -- women's rowing), 11.7.2.3 (exceptions noncoaching staff members and noncountable coaches), 11.7.6 (limitations on number of coaches and off-campus recruiters), 13.1.2.1 (general rule), 13.1.3.4.1 (institutional coaching staff members – general rule), 13.1.7.1 (visit without contact to prospective student-athlete's educational institution), 13.1.8.1 (banquets, meetings and NCAA promotional activities); 13.1.8.2 (banquets or meetings at locations other than a prospective student-athlete's educational institution), 13.1.8.3 (attendance outside of contact or evaluation period); staff interpretation (3/18/11, Item No. a); and official intepretation (2/21/2002, Item No. 3)]