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An Advisers Life – NCAA Approves Recruiting Rule Changes To Slow Early Commitments

Its about time. One of the biggest problems with NCAA hockey has been the rush to recruit and verbally commit players who are years away from being close to prepared for NCAA hockey.

The thought of committing to 14 and 15 year old players is laughable but it has been done for years.

Finally that is going to change.

No more early commitments. And parents and players can now come back to earth and realize that commitments are made when players are old enough to make them and teams really know a prospects value.

Here are the new rules effective May 1st;

Starting Jan. 1 Sophomore YearStarting Aug. 1 prior to Junior Year
Phone Calls (in-coming/out-going)Official Visits
Email, Texting, CommunicationOff-Campus Contacts
Unofficial VisitsVerbal Offers
Camp & Clinic Recruiting Talk

To summarize:

  • Eliminating all recruiting conversations (whether initiated by the coach or the prospect) prior to Jan. 1 of a prospect’s sophomore (grade 10) year.
  • Establishing Aug. 1 prior to a prospect’s junior (grade 11) year as the first date when NCAA coaches can make a verbal offer.

Now everyone who has been in the rat race to commit to early can just slow down and realize that true development takes time. It takes patience. There is no need to rush the commitment process.

“As a coach, I’m very excited about these proposed changes,” Minnesota Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin said. “As a parent of a hockey player who went through the recruiting process, I’m even more excited. A 14- or 15-year old shouldn’t feel the pressure of deciding what college they want to attend.”

That speaks to the ultimate goal of the changes – to reduce the anxiety that prospects can feel and to allow them to fully enjoy their hockey experience.

The sport’s leaders have applauded college hockey’s efforts.

“The NHL fully supports the recruiting rule changes for men’s Division I hockey that were approved today by the NCAA,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “We are confident that rules which support and promote college contacts later in a player’s development will reduce many of the unnecessary pressures felt by young hockey players, and will provide them better and more enjoyable experiences playing the game. These are precisely the types of changes that hockey organizations like the NCAA and the NHL pledged to pursue when we signed onto Hockey’s Declaration of Principles.”

“It is important that all the stakeholders in our game continue to make changes to positively impact hockey at all levels,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “When we announced our American Development Model a decade ago, it was based on providing the best possible environment for our players, and the legislation passed today by the NCAA related to Division I men’s ice hockey is in that same spirit.”

As an Adviser who regularly deals with the thoughts of players and parents that they need to rush to get a commitment, this is a blessing long over due.

Thanks to College Hockey Inc for the summaries and quotes.

Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser

[email protected]

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