A new rule instituted by the NCAA on Thursday means that Division I HBCUs will have less of a second chance to make a first impression on recruits and prospective athletes.
The NCAA announced that while athletes and their families will not be limited to five official visits, they will be permitted just one official visit per school unless a coaching change has occurred after an official visit. Only then can an athlete make a second official visit to a school.
Men’s basketball players will still be granted two official visits, but they must be in separate academic years. Official visits can be no more than two nights, though schools can still cover travel and meal costs for up to two family members accompanying the athlete, as well as “reasonable entertainment.”
It is a landscape-shifting piece of legislation that could have serious implications for the D-1 HBCU conferences and schools which are already limited in access to top athletes.
Limiting official visits to one per school means that coaches, scouts, and administrators will need to work extra hard, likely above and beyond capability at some point, to attract the attention and interest of prospective athletes.
It will truly be a test of budget, manpower and creativity for low-level and mid-major D-1 schools — most of which are made up of the MEAC and SWAC conferences — to recruit and secure commitments from the athletes they hope will turn their programs into contenders.
Lynda Tealer, chair of the NCAA Division I committee (and executive assistant athletic director at the University of Florida) states in the official release, “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.”
“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.”
The new rules will take effect on July 1.