In college athletics in the United States, recruiting is the process in which college coaches add prospective student athletes to their roster each off-season. This process typically culminates in a coach extending an athletic scholarship offer to a player who is about to be a junior in high school or higher. There are instances, mostly at lower division universities, where no athletic scholarship can be awarded and where the player pays for tuition, housing, and textbook costs out of pocket or from financial aid. During this recruiting process, schools must comply with rules that define who may be involved in the recruiting process, when recruiting may occur and the conditions under which recruiting may be conducted. Recruiting rules seek, as much as possible, to control intrusions into the lives of prospective student-athletes. The NCAA defines recruiting as “any solicitation of prospective student-athletes or their parents by an institutional staff member or by a representative of the institution’s athletics interests for the purpose of securing a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment and ultimate participation in the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program."
To be considered a “recruited prospective student-athlete”, athletes must be approached by a college coach or representative about participating in that college's athletic program. NCAA guidelines specify how and when they can be contacted. Letters, telephone calls, and in-person conversations are limited to certain frequency and dates during and after the student's junior year. The NCAA also determines when the athletes can be contacted by dividing the year into four recruiting and non-recruiting periods:
1. During a contact period, recruiters may make in-person, on- or off-campus contacts and evaluations. Coaches can also write and/or phone athletes during this period.
2. During an evaluation period, they can only assess academic qualifications and playing abilities. Letters and phone calls are permitted; in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts are not permitted.
3. During a quiet period, they may make in-person recruiting contacts only on the college campus. Off-campus, recruiters are limited to phone calls and letter-writing.
4. During a dead period, they cannot make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on- or off-campus or permit official/unofficial visits. However, phone calls and letters are permitted.
During the recruiting process, the prospective student-athlete goes on an official visit to the school that they're being recruited by. An official visit is a prospective student-athlete's visit to a college campus paid for by the college. The college can pay for transportation to and from the college, room, and meals (three per day) while visiting and reasonable entertainment expenses, including three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest. NCAA recruiting bylaws limit the number of official visits a recruit may take to five. The NCAA has imposed stringent rules limiting the manner in which competing university-firms may bid for the newest crop of prospective student-athletes. Such rules limit the number of visits, which a student-athlete may make to a given campus, the amount of his expenses that may be covered by the university-firm, and so forth.
During recruitment, a college coach may ask a prospective player to sign a National Letter of Intent or NLI for short. The NLI is a voluntary program with regard to both institutions and student-athletes. No prospective student-athlete or parent is required to sign the NLI, and no institution is required to join the program. By signing a NLI, a prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the designated college or university for one academic year. Pursuant to the terms of the NLI program, participating institutions agree to provide athletics financial aid to the student-athlete, provided he/she is admitted to the institution and eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. An important provision of this program serves as a recruiting prohibition applied after a prospective student-athlete signs an NLI This prohibition requires participating institutions to cease recruitment of a prospective student-athlete once an NLI is signed with another institution. The NLI has many advantages to both prospective student-athletes and participating educational institutions:
(A) Once a NLI is signed, prospective student-athletes are no longer subject to further recruiting contacts and calls.
(C) By emphasizing a commitment to an educational institution, not particular coaches or teams, the program focuses on a prospective student-athlete's educational objectives.
In professional sports, the services of athletes are secured via an exclusive contract with an organization. By comparison, the services of many college athletes are secured through recruiting services established by the athletic departments which include staff members and influential friends of the institutions. The college athlete normally signs an exclusive contract, such as the NLI, at the expense of losing a year's eligibility if he chooses to transfer to another institution of his choosing. The NLI program is subscribed to by all major athletic conferences and nearly all-independent universities. NCAA Division I is likely to create its own NLI for each sport and, in addition, designate a different signing date for each sport in order to reduce the time and expense incurred when the recruiting season is overly long.
Recruiting top student-athletes is even more strategic due to the potential increase in undergraduate admissions and booster donations that a championship may bring. Traditionally, coaches recruiting for major college athletic departments focused on highlighting the athletic accomplishments of the athletic program. Clotfelter writes about the problems of college sports. But he says there are benefits to universities in playing big-time sports, which he defines as Division I basketball and schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Those benefits go beyond money and can be difficult to measure. The transformation of college athletics over the past 30 years into a multibillion-dollar, internationally recognized business has changed the focus of intercollegiate athletic departments. Budget minded administrators have realized that a winning team can provide an effective means of advertising their institutions and securing much needed additional funding. In order to ensure the cycle of successful seasons, it is imperative that the athletic department recruits the most athletically talented and academically eligible potential student-athletes possible.
Since success or failure in recruiting is seen as a precursor of a team's future prospects, many college sports fans follow it as closely as the team's actual games and it also provides a way to be connected to the team during the off season. Fans' desire for information has spawned a million-dollar industry which first developed extensively during the 1980s. Prior to the internet, popular recruiting services used newsletters and pay telephone numbers to disseminate information. Since the mid-1990s, many online recruiting websites have offered fans player profiles, scouting videos, player photos, statistics, interviews, and other information, including rankings of both a player and a team's recruiting class. Most of these websites charge for their information.
In the United States, the most widely followed recruiting cycle is that of college football. This is due in part to the large following football usually has at most universities in Division I, especially those in the top-level Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Division I FBS football also has the highest number of scholarship players of any college sport, with 85. The NCAA allows football teams to add up to 25 new scholarship players to the roster per academic year, so long as the total number of scholarship players does not exceed 85.
For teams in the second-tier Division I FCS, scholarships are limited to an amount equal to 63 full scholarships. However, FCS schools are allowed to award partial scholarships, as long as the total number of "counters" (NCAA terminology for a person who counts against limits on players receiving financial aid for that sport) is no greater than 85. Effective with the 2017–18 recruiting cycle, FCS teams are free to award financial aid to any number of new players in a given year, as long as the overall team limits are met; previously, the annual limit on "counters" had been 30.
In Division II, schools are limited to an amount equal to 36 full scholarships.
The football recruiting season typically begins the summer after the previous year's class has signed — though the building of relationships between college coaches and high school players and their coaches may have been going on for months or years before that. Each summer, high school players attend various football camps at nearby college campuses to be evaluated on measures of athleticism, such as the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, agility shuttle; and the number of repetitions of the bench press that an athlete can perform at a given weight, usually 225 pounds. Recently, the SPARQ rating has become a popular composite metric of a high school football player's athleticism. At this time of year, based on game film and performance at combines, this is typically when players begin to receive most scholarship offers.
After receiving an offer, a player may choose to commit. This is a non-binding, oral agreement. Although more coaches have tried in recent years to get players to commit early, the most highly rated players typically commit within a month of National Signing Day, the day all high school players who will graduate that year can sign letters of intent (LI) to play for the college of their choice. Signing Day always falls on the first Wednesday of February. Other players, who may not have as many offers to choose from, more often verbally commit earlier in the process. Players occasionally decide to sign with a different school from which they gave a verbal commitment, which often leads to rancor between the fans and coaching staffs of the two schools. Junior college players, however, can sign scholarships in late-December, once their sophomore seasons have ended.
A letter of intent is binding for both the player and school for one academic year as long as the player is eligible to enroll at the college.
In April 2017, the NCAA Division I Council approved a piece of legislation that significantly changed the FBS recruiting landscape.
Recruiting for Division I basketball teams is also closely followed by fans. Schools are limited to having 13 scholarship players in men's basketball and 15 in women's basketball. The formal NCAA rules and processes for recruiting and signing recruits are similar, but the identification and recruiting of talent differs from football in important ways. Whereas football players can only play in a very limited number of competitive games per year, summer camps and traveling AAU teams afford prospects the opportunity to play outside of the regular basketball season. As a result, while football players generally only come to the attention of college recruiters after excelling at the high school varsity level, top level basketball players may emerge as early as the 8th or 9th grade. Players may also consider their AAU team as their primary squad, which can make high school basketball coaches less influential in the recruiting process than high school football coaches.
Another key difference in the recruiting cycle for college basketball, as opposed to that of football (prior to 2017–18), is the time of signing:
Most recruiting services classify recruits by a number of "stars" with a higher number for more highly ranked prospects. Most services use 5 stars for the highest ranked recruits and only a few players at each position attain this rank. 4 stars is a typical ranking for most recruits at schools which regularly finish as one of the top ranked teams in a particular sport. 3 stars is a typical ranking for recruits at most other schools in "Power Five" football conferences. 2 stars is a typical ranking for recruits at most mid-major level or Division I FCS schools. No major recruiting service currently issues ratings below 2 stars; unrated players typically play at levels below NCAA Division I or may be walk-ons at Division I schools.
Aquille Carr (born September 28, 1993) is an American professional basketball player. He attended Princeton Day Academy in Lanham, Maryland and was a highly scouted prospect for the 2013 college recruiting class. In January 2012, Carr announced his commitment to the Seton Hall University Pirates men's basketball team for the 2013–14 season. However, on March 17, 2013, he announced that he was skipping college to play overseas.Baseball Factory
Baseball Factory, Inc. is a United States company specializing in player development and college placement of high school baseball players. The company is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, approximately 20 miles southwest of Baltimore. Over six hundred events, across all 50 states, are hosted by Baseball Factory throughout the year, ranging from national tryouts to camps, tournaments and showcases. As of 2017, Baseball Factory has helped over 100,000 baseball players compete at the college level, garnering more than $1 billion in scholarships.
Baseball Factory was founded in 1994 by CEO Steve Sclafani, to provide a service that would train and educate players on the college recruiting process. In 2004, Baseball Factory acquired Team One Baseball, a baseball company for top-flight showcases. Baseball Factory provides high school baseball players with professional instruction, showcase opportunities, tournaments, and ongoing guidance in the college recruiting process.Brian Bowen
Brian Bowen II (born October 2, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He originally committed to play college basketball for the Louisville Cardinals but was suspended by the team after a national college basketball corruption scandal which alleged that his family accepted payments in exchange for him choosing to attend Louisville. He later tried to play for the South Carolina Gamecocks, but due to an NCAA ruling, he removed himself from college and the 2018 NBA Draft altogether. Nicknamed "Tugs", he was named a McDonald's All-American as a senior in high school in 2017.Chris Bart-Williams
Christopher Gerald Bart-Williams (born 16 June 1974) is an English former footballer. His position was defence or midfield.
Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Bart-Williams grew up in North London and attended St. David's School and St Katharine in Hornsey. He represented his school, borough (Haringey), county (Middlesex), and adopted country (England) at youth level and went on to play for England under-21s and was called up to train with the senior squad although he never won a full England cap.
He was formerly an assistant coach for SoccerPlus Connecticut, a women's team in the WPSL in America. He also served as an assistant coach for the Quinnipiac University men's soccer team for six years.Bart-Williams now lives in the U.S. and runs his own soccer training and college recruiting service, CBW Soccer Elite, assisting American and international student-athletes with college placement. In addition, Bart-Williams provides technical advice to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy program at Charlotte Soccer Academy and is the head of Gulliver Schools' boys' soccer program in Miami, Florida.Datone Jones
Datone Wayne Jones (born July 24, 1990) is an American football defensive end for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at UCLA and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Jones played football at Compton High School in Compton, California; he was a defensive end. He also played basketball as a point guard and participated in track and field. He played defensive end and defensive tackle at UCLA from 2008 to 2012. In 2008, he played in 10 games with 2 starts and finished with 15 tackles. He was named to the Rivals.com All-Pac-10 Freshman team after the season. In 2009, he started all 13 games and finished the year with 4 sacks and 11 tackles for a loss. In 2010, he missed the whole season due to a right foot injury in camp. In 2011, he had 41 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and 3.0 sacks. His college career ended with 43 starts, including his final 28 straight games, 148 tackles (90 solo), 36.5 tackles for a loss, 12.5 sacks, five passes defensed, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. In 2012, he was selected to be a second-team all-Pac12. On the first day of the 2013 NFL Draft, he was selected 26th overall by the Green Bay Packers. He finished his Packers career with 73 total tackles (54 solo), 19 assists, 9.0 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 7 passes defended, and 1 interception for 18 yards. After his Packers career, he signed with the Vikings.High school football
High school football is gridiron football played by high school teams in the United States and Canada. It ranks among the most popular interscholastic sports in both countries.
High school football began in the late 19th century, concurrent with the start of many college football programs. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many college and high school teams played against one another. Today, the oldest high school football rivalry dates back to 1875 in Connecticut, between the Norwich Free Academy Wildcats and the New London High School Whalers.High school football traditions such as pep rallies, marching bands, mascots, and homecomings are mirrored from college football. No true minor league farm organizations exist in American football. Therefore, high school football is generally considered to be the third tier of American football in the United States, behind professional and college competition. It is the first level of play in which a player will accumulate statistics, which will determine his chances of competing at the college level, and ultimately the professional level if he is talented enough.
In the 2000s and beyond, there has been growing concern about safety and long-term brain health, both regarding the occasional concussion as well as the steady diet of lesser hits to the head.Jefferson Cup
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Beginning in 2015, it was played over a span of three weekends in March, rather than two weekends as in years past. It includes one boys weekend, two girls weekends, and a goalkeeper showcase.
Beginning in 2016, the Jefferson Cup will add a second showcase weekend for boys (Under 15 to Under 17) over Memorial Day Weekend.
A 2013 study showed that the event has an economic impact of $15 million annually on the local economy of greater Richmond, including drawing more than 22,000 hotel room nights to the area.Joe Schobert
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Justin Forsett (born October 14, 1985) is a former American football running back. He played college football at California and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Forsett also played for the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, and Denver Broncos. Forsett's best season came in 2014 as a member of the Ravens, when he was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate after finishing the season with career highs in carries (235), rushing yards (1,266) and touchdowns (8).Kyle Wiltjer
Kyle Gregory Wiltjer (born October 20, 1992) is a Canadian-American professional basketball player for Unicaja of the Liga ACB. He spent two seasons of college basketball with the Kentucky Wildcats before transferring to play with the Gonzaga Bulldogs in 2013. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, he has played for the Canadian national team.Michael Caputo (American football)
Michael Caputo (born October 26, 1992) is an American football safety who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Wisconsin.Next College Student Athlete
Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) is a for-profit organization that connects middle and high school student-athletes with college coaches. NCSA teaches middle and high school student-athletes about the college recruiting process.
The NCSA Athletic Recruiting team consists of coaches, scouts and former college athletes. NCSA Athletic Recruiting was included in the 2012 Inc. 5000, and in the top 20 of Crain's Fast Fifty in both 2013 and 2012. The headquarters of NCSA Athletic Recruiting is in Chicago, Illinois. Chris Krause is the founder and CEO of NCSA Athletic Recruiting.PrepStar College Recruiting
PrepStar College Recruiting, known also as PrepStar, is an online magazine at www.prepstar.com, which was established in 1982. It provides information on the top football and basketball prospects in the United States. The online magazine is produced by College Sports USA, which was founded by Jeff Duva, a former college quarterback, and Jack Wright.In 1999, Duva was its publisher, and Rick Kimbrel was its editor. It is located in Woodland Hills, California.Rivals.com
Rivals.com is a network of websites that focus mainly on college football and basketball recruiting in the United States. The network was started in 1998 and currently employs more than 300 personnel.Rob Havenstein
Rob Havenstein (born May 13, 1992) is an American football offensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Rams in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played college football at Wisconsin.Rueben Randle
Rueben Jacob Randle (born May 7, 1991) is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He played college football at Louisiana State University (LSU). He has also spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.Sharrif Floyd
Sharrif Kalil Floyd (born May 28, 1991) is a former American football defensive tackle. He played college football for the University of Florida, where he was recognized as an All-American in 2012. Floyd was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.Swimming in the United States
Swimming in the United States began competitively in the 1880s. The first nationally recognised swimming organisation was the Amateur Athletic Union in 1888.Terrelle Pryor
Terrelle Pryor Sr. (born June 20, 1989) is an American football wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). Considered the most recruited high school football-basketball athlete in southwestern Pennsylvania since Tom Clements, Pryor was widely regarded as the nation's top football prospect of 2008 and was named "Junior of the Year" by Rivals.com. Pryor had originally hoped to be a two-sport athlete, as he was also one of the nation's most heralded high school basketball players, but he later chose football.He was the starting quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes from 2008 to 2010, winning the Big Ten championship twice. His college career was marred by several suspensions and accusations of selling memorabilia and led to his eventual withdrawal from the university. Pryor was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the third round of the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft. He then played quarterback for the Raiders from 2011 to 2013 and later spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cincinnati Bengals. He converted full-time to wide receiver with the Cleveland Browns in 2015 and played that position for the Washington Redskins, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Jaguars.