Making Sense Of The NCAA’s CFB Recruiting Calendar

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Last week Super K forwarded to me a request from a reader asking about the current ‘dead period’ schools are in and some of the recruiting guidelines/terminology in general. I remembered a while back finding and actual recruiting calendar from the NCAA that does a pretty good job of laying things out in about as simple a form as the NCAA is capable of doing.

You can actually see the 2013-14 calendar itself here, but we’ll also go through some of the terms of provide more of a summary of things in the hope that it is a little easier to read/follow.

First, let’s address some of the common terms. In typical NCAA fashion, the goal almost appears to be to make things as unnecessarily complicated as possible. Case in point, their definition of what constitutes “contact” with respect to players and coaches:

A contact occurs any time a college coach says more than hello during a face-to-face contact with a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents off the college’s campus. –

As you can see, nowhere does this mention phone calls, text messages, social media, or any other ways in which a coach could contact a player. They do specify which type of contact is allowed in their respective definitions for the various type of periods that exist — and we’ll get to those — so for now don’t get hung up on this specific definition/rule.

Now for the aforementioned periods, they consist of the following:

* Contact Period
* Evaluation Period
* Quiet Period
* Dead Period

If you want to see the literal definitions of each, you’re welcome to do so here. But for the purposes of what I believe led to the email asking for this information, I’m simply going to address the type/s of permissible contact during each respective period. I think that’s the simplest way of approaching things and really provides the gist of what I think most here are looking for when it comes to these rules. However, if that is not the case then my apologies for the simplification and you can find the actual rules at the link provided above.

The following are permitted during a contact period:

* Unofficial & official visits
* Home and/or other in-person visits off campus (during player’s senior year only)
* Letters/emails
* Phone calls/texts
* Evaluations (which essentially means a coach can come watch you play/practice)

The following are permitted during an evaluation period:

* Unofficial & official visits
* Letters/emails
* Phone calls/texts
* Evaluations (which essentially means a coach can come watch you play/practice)

The primary difference here between the evaluation and contact periods being that coaches are not allowed to meet with a player off campus during the evaluation period.

The following are permitted during a quiet period:

* Unofficial & official visits
* Letters/emails
* Phone calls/texts

Again, the primary differences here from the two previous periods being (1) no off campus meetings and (2) no evaluations.

The following are permitted during a dead period:

* Unofficial visits but you cannot meet with the coaches
* Letters/emails
* Phone calls/texts

So if I haven’t lost you yet, I’m going to give you a hopefully somewhat brief summary on the respective periods from here through National Signing Day (which I chose at it seems the most logical end point for this). But, again, if you’d like to see the actual calendar itself you can do so here (2013-14 & 2014-15). As I mentioned above, schools are currently in a dead period so that’s where we’ll start things.

Dead period: 6.30.14 – 7.13.14

Quiet period: 7.14.14 – 8.30.14

Evaluation period: 9.1.14 – 11.30.14

Contact period: 11.30.14 – 12.14.14

Dead period: 12.15.14 – 1.14.15

Contact period: 1.15.15 – 1.31.15

Quiet period: 2.1.15

Dead period: 2.2.15 – 2.5.15 (NSD is Wed, Feb 4th)

If you have any other questions, please fell free to post them in the comments and I will do my best to try and answer. Hopefully some of you found this information to be helpful.