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From press release
PRINCETON, N.J. — The Ivy League announced Wednesday that it has proposed NCAA legislation to allow prospective student-athletes more time in the recruiting process to make the important decision of where to attend college.
“The pressure on prospective student-athletes to commit to a specific college earlier and earlier is a national issue,” said Executive Director Robin Harris. “It causes stress for prospects and their families, as they are often asked to make a life-altering decision as high school freshmen or sophomores, and sometimes even before they have started high school.
“Our goals are to elevate the national conversation about the negative effects of early recruiting, and to challenge the NCAA membership to change the culture of recruiting that forces prospective student-athletes to verbally commit before they are academically, athletically, or emotionally ready to make their college choice.”
Early recruiting of prospects occurs despite existing NCAA rules that prohibit coaches from initiating contact until the junior year of high school. Through various workarounds, including non-scholastic coaches and social media, access to prospective student-athletes has accelerated the recruiting timeline.
This past May, the Ivy League Directors of Athletics charged the League office with reviewing early recruiting practices and proposing NCAA legislation to address the problems.
The Ivy League proposals focus on multiple aspects of the recruiting process, such as the timeline for verbal commitments, contact during camps, and expanding limits on telephone calls and unofficial visits.
Specifically, coaches would not be allowed to make verbal offers of financial aid or support in the admission process prior to the start of the prospective student-athlete’s junior year. Additionally, other means of communication, such as initiating or receiving telephone calls, planning unofficial visits and having recruiting conversations at camps and clinics would be prohibited prior to the start of the junior year.
The Ivy League is not alone in trying to remedy early recruiting. Several national coaches groups have identified early recruiting as a significant problem. Other proposals addressing the recruiting timeline have been introduced into the NCAA legislative cycle, including proposals specific to field hockey, women’s gymnastics, and men’s and women’s lacrosse.
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