As I have mentioned here in just about every article written, it is essential in the recruiting process to consider all of your options. And while you may have grown up with Division I eyes, it may be time to consider other options. They may essentially be back up options but the most important thing is that there are other possibilities to consider if your dream school does not work out.
So with that in mind, a great option to consider is looking at Division III schools. While the schools are much smaller than Division I programs, sports are taken a little less seriously than at the scholarship level. Here is more information on when Division III programs can recruit you and show you interest.
When can I receive recruiting material from Division III schools?
College coaches at the Division III level have no rules regarding when they can send you printed material. If they see you at a tournament when you are in eighth grade, they can send you a letter that they are interested in your skills. It doesn’t matter when but the Division II coaches have a lot of flexibility regarding how early they can start sending recruiting material. In most circumstances, most Division III coaches however do not send mail until after your junior season. There are exceptions but that is regarding most coaches.
Can I receive calls from Division III coaches?
Once again, coaches at this level are not regulated like Division I and II schools. These Division III coaches have no limit as to when they start calling you or when they can start. If a coach really wanted to, they can call you every day during your senior year. While the athlete may file charges of stalking, it would be legal by NCAA rules. As for when they would start calling, most usually call in the summer before your senior year or during your senior year. Many Division III coaches call because they want to build a relationship and also try to get you on their campus. Speaking with you on the phone and talking about it is a great way to go.
Can a Division III college coach make off campus contact?
Surprisingly, the NCAA does have rules regarding this for Division III coaches. A college coach at this level cannot have contact with you or your family until after your junior year. For example, the college coach cannot legally talk to you following a sporting until after your junior year. If you are being recruited by a lot of Division III coaches, expect many to make off campus contact after your games.
Can I make official visits?
As a Division III athlete myself, I was unaware that they could offer official visits. The answer is that you can. There is no limit on the number of official visits to Division III schools but you can only make one official visit to each institution. You can receive costs of transportation, lodging, meals, reasonable entertainment within thirty miles of the school, three tickets to a sporting event, parking costs, and you are allowed to participate in workouts as long as the coaches are not around. These can happen any time starting the opening day of classes during your senior year.
Can I make unofficial recruiting visits?
You are allowed as many unofficial visits as you would like to take. You are the one paying for them so if a school is really interested in you, they would love to bring you on campus as much as possible.