Black and white photo of empty basketball arena with P emblem in middle of court

COVID-19: What Does it Mean for Athletic Recruiting?

If you want to be recruited for college sports, maximizing your online presence and being proactive during the current pandemic is key. Learn more now!

The NCAA recently announced that in-person athletic recruiting will be suspended until May 31. This means coaches aren’t allowed to meet face-to-face with student-athlete recruits off campus or do any in-person scouting. The NCAA is also encouraging all colleges to stop both official and unofficial visits during this dead period. But recruiting will not stop completely; coaches and recruits can still communicate over email, phone, text, and social media.

The situation at hand has left the sports community questioning what the full impact of this decision will look like for current and prospective student-athletes looking to be recruited to play for a college or university. These recent changes have made it evident that all recruits across every sport need to maximize their online presence and be proactive in starting recruiting conversations. Of course, the NCAA’s changes will impact some student-athletes more than others, so here’s an outline of how these changes will affect students in each of the next four graduation years.

High school Class of 2020

High school seniors will find few opportunities to make a Division I or II roster at this point in the recruiting process, as the recruiting landscape has been significantly impacted by the NCAA’s new eligibility relief plan: they have granted an extra year of recruiting eligibility to seniors in spring sports. As current college seniors decide whether to return for a fifth year, coaches will have to reassess roster availability. As a result, high school seniors still looking to get recruited will need to expand their search to include a wider range of schools and division levels. They should also begin reaching out to coaches online and by phone to discuss roster availability.

Recruits who’ve already committed to a program should regularly communicate with their coach and be direct with questions about what’s anticipated regarding eligibility relief impacting the student’s first season. Seniors should also be aware that the National Letter of Intent (NLI) has officially announced new Signing Periods for prospective athletes signing their NLIs during 2019–2020 and enrolling in the 2020–2021 academic year. You can learn more about Singing Period changes here.

Related: An Inside Look at College Athletic Recruitment

High school Class of 2021

It’s currently a critical point in the recruiting process for 2021 recruits. No longer able to schedule official and unofficial visits or attend recruiting tournaments and showcases due to postponements and cancelations, coaches are heavily relying on digital recruiting networks and methods to evaluate and connect with student-athletes. Recruits should build a strong digital presence and reach out to coaches via phone, email, text, and social media DMs.

High school juniors should also focus on academics despite school closures and standardized testing cancelations. Academics and athletics go hand-in-hand for student-athletes, as college coaches are just as interested in a potential recruit’s GPA and test scores as they are in their athletic skills—so staying on track academically is a must.

High school Classes of 2022 and 2023

Just because it’s early in the recruiting process for freshmen and sophomores doesn’t mean underclassmen aren’t being impacted by the NCAA’s changes. College coaches are no longer able to discover upcoming talent at tournaments, showcases, and sports camps with the recent postponements and cancelations. Since college coaches in most sports aren’t allowed to contact recruits until after June 15 of their sophomore year, underclassmen should continue to focus on creating a recruiting profile and highlight video, building a list of prospective schools, and sending introductory emails to college coaches.

Related: Ask the Experts: How Can I Get Colleges to Recruit Me for Sports?

Free online recruiting classes

To help student-athletes and their families navigate this confusing time, NCSA is offering free online recruiting classes to make it as easy as possible to keep your recruiting journey on track. NCSA’s upcoming online recruiting classes include topics such as how to set up an effective recruiting game plan, learning how to get on a coach’s radar, and effectively communicating with college programs to succeed in college recruiting. If playing your sport is a part of your college plans, staying informed and being proactive during this unprecedented situation will only benefit you in the future. 

Discover schools to add to your list with our College Search tool, and find more expert recruitment tips in our College Athletics section.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
athletic recruitment college athletics college sports NCAA recruitment student-athletes

About Next College Student Athlete (NCSA)

Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) is the world's largest and most successful collegiate athletic recruiting network because our focus has always been on finding the best college fit for our student-athletes. We believe the right athletic and academic fit can launch a lifetime of success.

Giving back has always been core to NCSA's mission. Our goal has always been to try and help every qualified athlete, regardless of their financial situation. Learn more at ncsasports.org

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Khush

Khush

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress is a multi-maneuver platform that has been helping students in their college applications and scholarship hunt process. For me, CollegeXpress has been a boon. I've been able to find my dream university via CX, and I've also been able to apply to thousands of scholarships through it. All the thanks to CollegeXpress for doing such a great job for free. I express my sincere gratitude to you for doing such a wonderful job. I recommend CollegeXpress without any reservations.

Caitlin Eaton

Caitlin Eaton

$10,000 Scholarship Winner, 2021

I first discovered CollegeXpress during my sophomore year of high school while researching colleges that interested me. My SAT prep class the following year further familiarized me with the opportunities available through the organization. CX has personally helped me by exposing me to a diverse selection of schools as well as scholarships and life tips that have provided valuable guidance in my college search.

This scholarship will help me adjust to college life without worrying as much about tuition. This gives me more room to truly explore and benefit from all aspects of higher education. I plan to study Conservation Biology and work protecting species/ecosystems. I’m looking forward to getting field experience and seeing firsthand the problems research is solving.

Jessica Rinker

Jessica Rinker

Student, Fairhaven High School; CollegeXpress Student Writer

My high school counselor introduced me to CollegeXpress freshman year. It has made such a difference in high school, and I plan to continue relying on it in college. CollegeXpress is my go-to because it addresses each aspect of being a student. There are the articles you’d expect regarding college applications and financial aid, but you will also find advice on things like de-stressing and maintaining relationships while balancing a heavy course load. CollegeXpress will also keep you updated on current scholarships through e-mails each Saturday. (They don’t harass you with any product promotion like so many other sites do.) CollegeXpress is a lot like an older sibling who has already conquered the challenges you are facing. Now, they are reaching out a helpful hand. I say take it.

Casey Kammeyer

Casey Kammeyer

$500 Refer-A-Friend Scholarship Winner

I love the site CollegeXpress; it has been very helpful finding colleges and getting them to send me information. It has also been very, very helpful with finding tons of scholarships. Also, I told many of my friends about it and they love it as well!

Brooke Maggio

Brooke Maggio

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me tremendously in my college search in narrowing down the schools I’m interested in. Using the college search tool, I was able to narrow down my choices to schools that matched what I was looking for. I also used CollegeXpress for their scholarship search, which helped me find scholarships that I meet the requirements of.

College Matches