Archive for the ‘official visits’ Category

NCAA Eligibility Center 101

What is the NCAA Eligibility Center?

The NCAA Eligibility Center certifies that college-bound athletes who wish to compete in Division I or II athletic programs have met necessary academic credentials and are of amateur status. NCAA colleges and universities set these regulations to ensure all student-athletes meet NCAA standards, including required core courses.


Do I really need to sign up with the eligibility center?

  • You cannot attend official visits if you have not registered or qualified with the NCAA Eligibility center
  • You cannot compete in division I or II if you have not been registered and qualified with the NCAA Eligibility center

When and how do I register with the eligibility center?

To qualify for NCAA eligibility and view core course requirements, register with the NCAA Eligibility Center by completing the Student Release Form and amateurism questionnaire during your junior year.



*** Special notes

Fall 2012 enrolled athletes need to sign final amateur certification on or after April 1, 2012.

Starting August 1, 2013, NCAA Division II student-athletes will be required to take 16 core courses—this applies to any student first entering a college of university on or after August 1. Please note that the 16 core course for DI and DII slightly differ.

The SAT and ACT have changed their writing tests; SAT writing section is mandatory and the ACT writing section is optional.

Official test scores are no longer accepted from high school transcript. Instead, test scores are to be sent directly from the testing agency (use code “9999” to request ACT or SAT test scores).


Negative Impressions Could Cost Your Recruitment

By: Natalie Pedersen

Student-athletes don’t realize that athletic ability alone is not enough to get recruited, and this applies to ALL colleges. Yes, athletic ability is important, as well as strong academic scores, but there is one more key element that is important and should not be overlooked: making a good impression on a coach. Not just a good first impression, but a lasting impression that continues each time you not only talk to a coach, but anytime a coach hears or sees your name. What do I mean by that? Read on, my friends.

First, let’s start with the less obvious ways to make a good impression on a coach, or rather, how to avoid portraying a negative image to a coach. All of your social media pages are public and can be viewed by coaches at any time. This means you should not have any pictures or posts portraying yourself in a negative manner. “Sure, they understand that you are just a teenager,” says one former Division I Recruiting Assistant. “But, anything vastly inappropriate can greatly diminish the chances of a certain coach recruiting you.”

Another former Division I coach says “everything an athlete does is under a microscope,” meaning you never know where or how a coach will evaluate your character and determine if you are a fit for their team. “No one wants a bad apple dragging others down with them.”

You can also make a good impression on a coach through your letters and emails. Show the college coach that you are smart and a good student by having good grammar and writing skills. Remember, you are not sending a text to your best friend, so use complete sentences and pretend you are writing a thesis paper for your favorite teacher that accounts for 100% of your grade.

Next, take a minute to think about any phone conversations that you’ve had with college coaches. Did you present yourself in a professional manner? If you haven’t talked to any coaches on the phone yet, then think about how you can make a good impression every time you do. First, be prepared when you call coaches by knowing what questions you’re going to ask. Don’t call from a cell phone unless you know you’re going to have a good reception, and make sure there isn’t any background noise that could interfere with your conversation. You don’t have many opportunities to talk to coaches, so take advantage when you get them!

You should also be prepared to receive calls from coaches. Make sure you know the NCAA rules about making and receiving calls and know when the date comes that college coaches can start calling you! Have a list of questions you want to ask near the phone at all times. If for some reason you can’t talk at the time the coach calls, schedule a specific time that you can call the coach back. And, if you miss a phone call from a coach, make sure you have a professional and appropriate voice mail message. This is a key element that many student-athletes miss and one that could hurt your image if your voice mail is inappropriate in any way.

Now, what about talking to coaches in person? Whether you meet a coach at a camp, on an unofficial or official visit, or in your own home, you should always look presentable and act respectful. Shake the coach’s hand, use “Sir” or “Ma’am” when addressing them, and don’t swear. If you’re attending a college camp, make sure you come prepared with your own equipment because this is something coaches will notice.

As one former DI college coach puts it, just being respectful is still not enough. “Those who ask the coach questions will make a more lasting impression. Keep in mind that coaches are having the same conversation over and over with hundreds of prospects, so a little back-and-forth [sport] talk with a student-athlete who looks you in the eye and knows what he’s talking about will truly help that coach remember who you are in the future.”
In one article from the South Bend Tribune, Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald from Northwestern University talked about the professionalism of his coaching staff which can also be applied to recruits.

He said “At one of our first staff meetings, [Athletic Director Jim Phillips] said, ‘The “N” never comes off. That’s the guiding principle. In other words, NU coaches represent the school seven days a week, 365 days a year. If you don’t operate that way, you’re making a huge mistake.”
So, think about how you can impress coaches and put your best foot forward at all times. Prove to each college coach that you will be a good representation of their college and will wear their colors with pride.

How Should I Dress For A College Visit?

Summer is almost here! Between summer ball and athletic camps most student athletes will probably be pretty busy, however summer can be a great time for student athletes to take a few unofficial recruiting visits.Unofficial visits can be a crucial part of the recruiting process, student athletes needs to see every aspect of a school before they decide that a school is right for them. Athletic aspects such as the facilities, the coaching staff and the team are all important but all those things can change during your career. Athletes should also look at the academic aspect of the university, do they have your major? Are the professors good? What is the professor to student ratio? Past even academics unofficial visits can be a great time for student athletes to see the culture of the campus, does a big campus feel right or would the athlete feel better at a smaller school? Is it a college town or a big city ? It can be hard for student athletes to make such a major life decision such as choosing their college at the age of 16,17,18 years old, therefore researching and visiting the very best option for that athlete is important. A common question that athletes ask before taking a visit is “what should I wear?”. This is a crucial part of the visit, below Coach Bob Chmiel thirty year college coaching veteran explains why!

If you need more help in the recruiting process call NCSA at 866-577-6272 or visit NCSA at

Offical Visits 101

NCSA’s resident recruiting expert Randy Taylor always says that everything a coach says and does means something. College Coaches will show their interest in you in many different ways through questionnaires, through emails , through phone calls, visits and offers. Each type of communication means something different as far as their interest level in you as a potential recruit and one of the most telling signs that a coach is interested in you is the invitation to take an official visits. Besides receiving a verbal or written scholarship offer the official visit means that a large majority of the time you will be receiving the scholarship offer.

What is an official visit?

An official visit is a visit to a college campus by a student and a parent, the student athletes expenses will be covered by the college.

What Should an Athlete Bring on an official visit?

The student athlete should ask the coach what they should bring to the offical visit. It is important to note that the student athlete needs to send a copy of his transcripts to the school before taking the official visits and be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

What should student athletes know before going on the official visit?

Student athlete need to be prepared to answer questions from the coaches. Coaches will ask a lot of different questions, from your level of play to who else is recruiting them. Remember to talk about the bigger schools or schools on the same level that are recruiting you as well, this will only help the student athlete increase their scholarship opportunities and have the leverage to do so.

Student athletes should also be prepared to ask questions themselves. An official visit should be taken very seriously by the student athlete, this is their time to decide if this could be the right school for them, if they could see themselves there. Make sure to ask all the right questions, from academics to college culture to athletics. Walk around the campus, meet the professors, make sure to imagine yourself walking around that campus for the next four years.

Know the Rules

You can only take 5 total official visits if you want to play at the division one level so make sure you aren’t taking more than that between division one and division two. Also remember that because you only get five, choose wisely make sure those are really the schools you want to visit on an official capacity.

Good Luck!