When asked to host a recruit for your team, the first thoughts that might come to mind might be: “Awesome, I’ll take them out to experience the town! Or, I am going take him/her out to dinner at my favorite restaurant!” While these are all fun things to do and may seem to be a good idea when hosting a student, it is a different game when you are hosting a recruit.
According to NCAA Rules and Regulations, there are specific guidelines that many athletes don’t know about their hosting capabilities. There are four categories that the NCAA has focused on: the duration of visit, transportation, lodging, and entertainment. Within each category, there are some rules that the host athlete should be aware of to make the official visit 100% legitimate!
Duration of a Visit
The official visit is not allowed to be longer than 48 hours. The clock starts as soon as the recruit either reaches campus or is entertained by the host institution in some way. The clock ends when the recruit leaves campus and is no longer being entertained by a host. The recruit can remain in the area around the institution as long as there is no funded entertainment once the 48 hours are up.
The host’s institution can only pay for a round trip: the direct route from the recruit’s home to the institution. If airfare is required, the price of the ticket cannot exceed coach class. This goes for the comparable price when taking a long-distance train. The host’s institution cannot provide a car for the host or his/her family during the visit. The friends or relatives of the prospect cannot have their transportation covered by the institution unless they travel with the recruit during their paid-for direct route to campus.
The recruit should board and eat meals as regular students do. If they stay outside campus, they must be within a 30-mile radius and at a location comparable to the amenities of the host institution. The recruit can be provided 3 meals per day.
The host can provide entertainment for the recruit and his/her guardians, but they cannot provide to his/her friends or other relatives. Similar to the rule regarding lodging, the entertainment must take place within a 30-mile radius to campus. A host may provide 3 complimentary tickets to the institution’s athletic event at the time of their visit, but this service may only be given to the recruit and their guardians. The ticket must also be located in the general admission section – all other higher level tickets are specifically prohibited. There should be no cash given to the recruit for entertainment purposes during the visit. The host should never purchase any school-related souvenirs or products for the risk of bribery. The prospect may not consume alcohol or participate in any illegal activity.
These are the key tips to remember when hosting a prospective recruit to ensure that their visit is both fun and legitimate. It’s not worth losing a star athlete over a t-shirt or a game ticket! Below are a few more tips that a host should remember before taking a prospect on.
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- To serve as a student host, you will have to be eligible to practice with the team, so you must be enrolled as a full-time student.
- The student host is the only one who is allowed to provide money to the recruit. The maximum amount of money per day is 30 dollars. The money can be used to entertain the recruit, their parents, and the student-host. Other athletes can assist with hosting, but they must pay for themselves.
- The host should not give the money directly to the recruit or their parents. As discussed above, the prospect cannot purchase gifts with the allotted money. An example would be buying something from a bookstore.
- A host should inform their professors that they will be taking a recruit to class with them. As a host, you should allow your recruit to sit in on some classes; they will need to see what the culture of the school is like.
- Encourage the recruit to bring their transcript and test scores for evaluation. You will want to introduce the recruit to faculty and staff members within the degree of their choice. It would help if you encouraged the recruit to ask the faculty questions about their intended major.
- A campus tour is a must. Highlight the athletic facilities, dorm, training facilities, and library since this is where they will be spending most of their time.
- Find time to introduce the recruit to as many as your teammates as possible. You will want to make sure that the recruit feels comfortable asking the team questions.
- Introduce your recruit to as many athletic faculty members as possible.
- Put together a list of places in the area that the recruit and their family can go on their own once the visit has ended. They might want to go to a restaurant or see what the nearest town has to offer.
- Send the link to your college’s calendar of events to your recruit. If there is an event or game while your recruit is there, take them to it.
- Make sure your recruit does not drink; nothing is worse than the person than if you are supposed to be responsible for wakes up not remembering the night before.
- Most importantly, please do not leave your recruit unattended and do not push them onto another teammate.