Last week, the NCAA announced a major change to their recruitment guidelines for official and unofficial visits. Effective July 1st, recruits will no longer have a cap on the number of official visits that they can make to college campuses. They can still only visit each school officially once (with exceptions for when there is a change in head coach at a program) but can now make unlimited official visits to other schools.
For the NCAA, the rule marks further modernization of their recruiting guidelines, which have been criticized in the past for being antiquated.
“For young people considering where to go to college, visits to campus — both official and unofficial — are an integral part of the decision-making process,” said Lynda Tealer, chair of the Division I Council in the NCAA’s press release. “This was an opportunity to modernize NCAA rules in a way that provides greater and more meaningful opportunities for prospects going through the recruitment process.”
In addition to their adjustments on the number of visits, there were modifications to the length of the visits as well as what particular items the school can cover and for whom. Schools are permitted to cover the costs of travel and transportation, meals, and entertainment within a reasonable amount. They can also cover said costs for up to two family members who are joining the recruit on the visit, which can be for a maximum of two nights.
Other non-recruitment rule changes include the development of a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for Division I schools which will give athletes greater say in athletic policy decisions at the schools and league conferences. The council also expressed support for the expansion of mental health services for current and former student-athletes, as well as access to enhanced medical coverage for players who are injured while playing college sports.