Recruiting Rules

A recruiting or scouting service is defined as any individual or entity that is primarily involved in providing information about prospective student-athletes. This definition includes both paid services and free services, but not any service where the information provided on a prospective student-athlete is incidental to the primary purpose of the service (e.g., newspaper coverage of a high-school football game).

Coaches may subscribe to a recruiting or scouting service provided the following requirements are met per sport.

Sports Other Than Basketball and Football

  • Made available to all institutions desiring to subscribe and at the same fee rate;
  • Information is provided in a standardized format to ensure consistent distribution to all subscribers;
  • Particular contests are not recorded on demand from a particular coaching staff; and
  • May subscribe to a service that provides scholastic and/or non-scholastic video.

 

Basketball and Football

Basketball and football programs may only use NCAA-approved recruiting services and may only purchase one annual subscription that meet the following requirements:

  • Made available to all institutions desiring to subscribe and at the same fee rate;
  • Publicly identifiable rates;
  • Information is disseminated at least four times a year;
  • Publicly identifiable geographical scope;
  • Analysis is provided beyond demographic information or rankings;
  • Samples of information are provided to potential subscribers; and
  • Information is provided in a standardized format to ensure consistent distribution to all subscribers;
  • Does not provide information about prospects in any form (e.g., oral reports, electronic messages) beyond standardized, consistent information provided to all subscribers.

Basketball and football programs are permitted to subscribe to video-only services. If you want to know if a recruiting or scouting service has been approved by the NCAA, contact the Compliance Office.

Presence of Media During Recruiting Contact:

No media entity may be present during any recruiting contact made between an Ohio State coaching staff member and a prospective student-athlete.

Publicity Before Commitment:

An institution may comment publicly on a prospective student-athlete only to confirm the institution’s recruitment of that prospect. It is not permissible to comment on the prospect’s ability or potential contribution to the team. This restriction is in place until the prospect has:

  • Signed a National Letter of Intent;
  • Signed the institution’s written offer of athletic aid; or
  • Paid a financial deposit in response to an offer of admission.

Social Media and Recruiting:

Social media has become increasingly important in the recruitment process. Below are the rules surrounding the use of social media when recruiting prospective student-athletes.

Institutional Sports Camps and Clinics

An institutional sports camp or clinic is any camp or clinic owned or operated by Ohio State and in which prospective student-athletes participate. For sports other than men’s basketball, “prospective student-athletes” include any individual who has started classes for the ninth grade. In men’s basketball, “prospective student-athletes” include any individual who has started classes for the seventh grade.

A non-exhaustive list of NCAA rules regarding institutional camps and clinics are as follows:

  • Must be open to any and all entrants (limited only by number and age, grade level, and/or gender);
  • All advertisements and promotions must stipulate the camp is open to any and all entrants (limited only by number and age, grade level, and/or gender) and must be advertised for at least two weeks;
  • Prospects may be invited to attend camps, provided the camp is legitimately advertised and open to all entrants;
  • Prospects may receive awards (e.g., t-shirts) at the camp or clinic, provided the cost of such awards are included in the admission fee charged to camp participants;
  • An institution may provide discounted admission to its camps and clinics based on objective criteria unrelated to athletics abilities (e.g., registration prior to a specific date), provided such discounts are published and available on an equal basis to all who qualify.

For more information about Ohio State Camps, CLICK HERE

Non-Institutional Camps

A non-institutional sports camp or clinic is any camp or clinic that is not owned or operated by Ohio State. Under institutional policy, Ohio State coaches may not own or operate non-institutional camps. However, Ohio State coaches may be employed in any capacity in non-institutional camps or clinics involving prospective student-athletes, provided the camp or clinic is operated in accordance with all application NCAA institutional camp legislation (above) and the employment is approved in advance by the Compliance Office.

Ohio State Athletic Department coaches and staff interested in employment at a non-institutional camp must complete the Non-Institutional Camp Form for review by the Compliance Office and attach all relevant camp or clinic advertisements.

Permissible Time Periods for Institutional and Non-Institutional Camps

What is an Official Visit?

An official visit is any visit to a college campus by a prospective student-athlete and/or his or her parents that is financed partially or in whole by the institution.

During an official visit, the institution may pay for reasonable transportation, lodging, and meals for the prospective student-athlete, as well as reasonable entertainment expenses, including complimentary admissions to a home athletics event. Some additional rules to keep in mind:

  • Prospects may take five official visits total.
  • Prospects may only take one official visit per institution.
  • Prospects may begin taking official visits:
    • Sports Other Than Basketball: Opening day of classes of senior year of high school.
    • Men’s Basketball: January 1 of junior year in high school.
    • Women’s Basketball: Thursday following the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship game of junior year in high school.
  • The following requirements must be met before a prospect takes an official visit:
    • PSAT, SAT, PLAN, or ACT score;
    • High school (or college) transcript; and
    • Registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center and on institution’s institutional request list (IRL).

What is an Unofficial Visit?

An unofficial visit is any visit to a college campus by a prospective student-athlete and/or his or her parents that is not financed by the institution. The only expenses that prospects may receive during an unofficial visit are three complimentary admissions to a home athletics event. Prospects may take an unlimited number of unofficial visits and can do so at any age.

What May Occur During a Visit to Campus?

During a prospective student-athlete’s official or unofficial visit to campus:

  • The prospect may participate in physical workouts or other recreational activities, provided they are not: (1) organized or observed by coaching staff; and (2) are not designed to test the athletics abilities of the prospect.
    • Exception: On-campus evaluations in basketball.
  • Institutions may not arrange personalized recruiting aids (e.g., personalized jerseys) or permit prospects to engage in game day simulations (e.g., running onto field with team).
  • Institutions may not publicize a visit to campus and the prospect may not participate in team activities that would make the public or media aware of the prospect’s visit to campus (e.g., celebratory walks to or around stadium/arena).
  • A team physician may conduct a medical examination provided the exam does not include any test or procedure designed to test or measure the athletics agility or skill of the prospect. No coaches or staff, other than an athletic trainer, may be present during the medical examination.

General Rule for Non-Enrolled Students

A member institution, on its campus or elsewhere, shall not conduct or have conducted on its behalf any physical activity at which one or more prospective student-athletes reveal, demonstrate, or display their athletic abilities in any sport

Who is a Prospective Student Athlete for Tryout Purposes?

 

  • Sports Other than Men’s Basketball
    • Anyone who has started classes for the ninth grade and is not enrolled at Ohio State at the time of the practice or test.
  • Men’s Basketball
    • Anyone who has started classes for the seventh grade and is not enrolled at Ohio State at the time of the practice or test.

    General Tryout Rule for Enrolled Student Athletes

  • Three-Day Tryout
    • Student must show trainer proof of physical;
    • Compliance must receive student’s name and OSU email; and
    • Student may not participate in any CARA after the three-day period.
  • More than Three-Day Tryout
    • Student must be added to the roster, complete all compliance check-in forms, receive a compliance education session, and complete a physical with athletic trainer prior to participating in any CARA activity;
    • Student must register with NCAA Eligibility Center and be added to institution’s Institutional Request List (IRL);
    • SA may participate in CARA as regular team member and it must be recorded in JumpForward.

 

For more information on the rules governing local sports clubs, please see our Department of Athletics Local Sports Club Handbook