When college coaches can offer athletic scholarships to students varies by sport and division. The rules continue to change. What we outline here today may not be accurate for tomorrow, a month from now, or a year from now. So we strongly encourage you to ALWAYS check with the NCAA to ascertain the current rules for your sport.
When College Coaches Can First Contact You
Before we get into when colleges can offer scholarships, let’s address when their coaches are even allowed to first contact you. You may have heard about Johnny or Jane so-and-so getting offered a full scholarship from a college coach when they were in seventh grade. This scenario is extremely unlikely. Most Division I and Division II coaches are not allowed to reach out to an athlete before June 15th of the student’s sophomore year in high school. This does not mean, however, that the coaches are not recruiting. They are looking at athletes early on – in seventh, eighth and ninth grades – but they cannot commence a conversation with a student that young. There are ways, however, that coaches skirt this contact rule. For example, they may reach out to a club coach and then the club coach will tell the athlete to contact the college coach. This avoids direct contact by the college coach. And by all means, students can reach out to the college coaches themselves at any time.