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Compliance Information for Prospective Student-Athletes

Prospective Student-Athletes

Thank you for your interest in Springfield Athletics.  Together we can make your college recruiting process an informative and successful process.  Please know that most of the college recruiting process is regulated by NCAA.  In order to compete as a student-athlete at Springfield (or any other college) you must do your part to stay within the NCAA guidelines.  Below are some frequently asked questions by prospective student-athletes (prospects):

What is an official visit?

An official visit to a member institution by a prospective student-athlete (prospect) is a visit financed in whole or in part by the member institution or by a representative of the institution’s athletic interests. A member institution may finance only one visit to its campus for each prospect. A prospect may do an official visit after January 1 of the prospective student-athlete’s junior year in high school.
What is an unofficial visit?

An unofficial visit to a member institution by a prospect is a visit made at the prospect’s own expense. A prospect may visit a member institution’s campus at his or her own expense an unlimited number of times. A prospect may make unofficial visits at any time.
What is the “48-hour rule”?

An official visit to Springfield College or any other NCAA-member institution may NOT exceed 48 hours.  This 48-hour clock begins when you arrive on campus. At the completion of the 48-hour visit, a prospect must depart Springfield College (or any other institution’s campus) immediately; otherwise, the institution is not allowed to pay any expenses incurred by the prospect upon departure from the campus, including the cost of the prospect’s transportation home.  Please think of this when planning your visit. 
What is the Springfield coach and college allowed to do for me on an official visit?  Unofficial visit? 

On an official visit, a prospect may be provided lodging and meals as regular students normally do. Local commercial facilities may be used but at a scale comparable to that of normal student life and only within a 30-mile radius of the institution’s campus.  The coach may also provide a meal for the parents/guardians of the prospect.
On an unofficial visit, an institution may provide a prospect with one meal in the institution’s on-campus dining facility. The coach may NOT provide meals for parents/guardians. 
For an unofficial visit, all housing must be worked out through the admissions office, NOT the coaching staff. 
I am not yet a senior.  What kind of contact can I have with the coach?  What should I send to the coach?

You may make your own unofficial visit to campus.  Before January 1 of your junior year you may:

1)      Meet with the coach

2)      Meet with admissions 

3)      Do research on the web ( 

4)      Fill out and return the questionnaire for your sport 

5)      Contact the coach and ask any questions you might have 

In Division III, coaches can call, write or email you before your senior year.  This is different than Division I and II.  If you have questions about Springfield College and our programs, please ask.  During the recruiting process, Division III coaches are allowed to make unlimited calls, texts and emails to you.  
What do you need to do if you are coming to campus (admissions and athletics)?

As early as possible, please let the admissions office and the coach know of your visit.  If you plan to stay overnight, the earlier you can make arrangements, the better.  The coach and admissions can help you plan your visit.   Coaches and admissions cannot host everyone.  Please confirm your dates with the coach before you make plane reservations.  You do not want to have reservations to visit campus when the team is away from campus.   If this is an official visit, you also need to take into account the 48-hour rule.

What should my parents know about the recruiting process?

Parents are active participants in the college search and recruiting process.  Parents should be involved but you, the prospective student-athlete, should be the primary contact for the coaches and admissions. 

What is the NCAA rule regarding texting, twittering, social network sites and chat rooms? 
You may send and receive text messages from the coach.  Coaches are NOT allowed to follow you on Twitter or ‘friend’ you on social networking sites.  All conversations between coach and prospective student-athlete must be done in ‘private’.  A coach may NOT retweet anything you post.  While on social media, the coach may only talk in generalized terms about prospective student athletes. 
When a coach visits a prospective student-athlete during a competition, what is he or she allowed to do during that visit?

First, a college coach is only allowed to speak to those prospective student-athletes who have completely his/her sophomore year.  Second, a college coach may only meet with the prospect after the competition is over for the day.  Contact shall not be made with the prospect from the time the prospect reports on call (at the direction of the prospect’s coach or comparable authority) and becomes involved in competition-related activity (e.g., traveling to an away-from-home game) until the end of the day of competition.  Contact shall not be made after the competition until the prospect is released by the appropriate coach and departs the dressing and meeting facility. 


The NCAA does not allow Division III student-athletes to receive “extra benefits” because they happen to participate on an athletic team.  What is a non-permissible “extra benefit”?
An extra benefit includes any special arrangement by a Springfield College employee or booster to provide prospective student-athletes, their relatives or friends, a benefit not expressly authorized by the NCAA. Examples of impermissible extra benefits include, but are not limited to:

a)      Gifts or loans of clothing, stereo equipment, compact discs, food, beverages

b)      Transportation

c)      Use of an automobile

d)     Low interest or interest-free loans, telephone cards, credit cards, charge accounts, etc.

e)      Gifts of more than the allowable number of complimentary admissions

f)       Special discounts on products or services

g)   Special payment arrangements on personal purchases

h)   Material benefits that are not available to the general student body

What do I do if I want to play a sport but have not been contacted by the coach?

Go to our Springfield College athletics website, click on your sport.  From there, you will be able to fill out a questionnaire and email the coach to express your interest. 

How do I try out for a team?

Every team and coach’s tryout procedures are different.  Contact the coach to find out more about try outs.  The coach can tell you the requirements for team participation. 

Do I need to go through the NCAA Clearinghouse to be recruited by Springfield?

No, you do not have to go through the NCAA Clearinghouse to be recruited and/or participate at Springfield College, or any other Division III school. 

If I want to transfer to Springfield, how do I do it? 

If you are currently at a Division III institution, you can complete the NCAA self-release form (located at under “forms”), then mail, email or fax it to the compliance officer at Springfield College.  This form will allow contact between you and the Springfield coach for up to 30 days.  After this 30-day window closes, a second self-release must be filled out and sent to Springfield.  Once the initial self-release form has been received, Springfield College is not allowed to contact your current institution.  After the 30-day window, Springfield may contact your current school if you decide to pursue a transfer.  Springfield may not contact the current school if a second release to contact is sent and must wait for the expiration of the self-release form.  Though a coach is not allowed to contact your current coach during this 30 or 60-day window, you are highly encouraged to talk to your current coach about a possible transfer to Springfield, or any school of your choice. 

If you are currently attending a Division I or II institution, you must obtain a written release stating that your current school grants Springfield College permission to contact you.  This permission can be obtained through the compliance officer at your current Division I or II institution.  Your compliance officer will contact Springfield directly.  After this paperwork has been completed, your current compliance officer should let you know, you can contact the Springfield coach.
If I have other questions about the NCAA rules and recruiting process, whom can I contact?

The information contained in this list of frequently asked questions does not represent every possibility or situation. If you have any questions regarding prospects, student-athletes, or NCAA rules and regulations, please contact the compliance officer, Erica Hollot (