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College Hockey:
Recruiting revisions being discussed by NCAA Rules Working Group

The NCAA on Tuesday published a report on how proposed changes to their rules would affect recruiting practices, with hockey at the forefront of these proposals.

To start, coaches could send unlimited text messages and other forms of electronic communications if a recruiting rule proposed by the Rules Working Group is approved in January by the Division I Legislative Council.

As well, the proposals would lift restrictions in all sports on the frequency and modes of communication and would also allow men’s hockey coaches to begin off-campus recruiting and have off-campus contact on June 15 following the completion of a recruit’s sophomore year.

Another proposal would limit a school’s recruiting materials to general and electronic correspondence (such as brochures or emails with attachments), but would lift many of the restrictions on printed and electronic general correspondence (such as ink color). Personalized recruiting materials and those created solely for recruiting purposes are still prohibited.

A third proposal would allow recruiting communication to start Sept. 1 of a recruit’s junior year, except in basketball, football, men’s ice hockey, swimming and diving, cross country and track and field. The recruiting communication date would not change for those sports as they already have set or are considering earlier start dates in separate legislation or proposed legislation.

Off-campus recruiting dates would not change for any sport.

And in the ever-changing battle for recruits with major junior players, the report stated that there is now another change for the NCAA.

“Feedback from men’s ice hockey coaches indicated strong support for both a consistent recruiting start date and deregulation of the restrictions on modes and frequency of communication,” according to the report. “Traditionally, men’s ice hockey coaches have favored an earlier recruiting start date because they compete for student-athletes against various junior leagues and athletes who participate in such leagues (such as the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior League) can jeopardize their eligibility.”

The next step for the above proposals are for them to go before the Legislative Council for an initial review later this month. Per the Division I legislative process, proposals will not be considered adopted until the Board of Directors has met and had the opportunity to discuss them.


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  • joe

    The NCAA needs to figure out its goals for the men’s hockey. If the goal is to raise competition and get more players into the NHL, then they should remove the major juniors prohibition for players who have played 1 year or less of major juniors. However, if we want to protect the American born players, that’s fine, but they have to realize they will lose many of the best American Players to Major Juniors since they path to the NHL is much more established.
    Also, I think it was be a good idea in both scenarios for the NCAA to adopt a policy similar to the one that major juniors has that a player can skate at camp with an NHL team and if they get cut, they can return to their major junior team ( or in this case, their NCAA team).

    • mike

      The goal for the NCAA is for student athletes, its not the job for NCAA D1 Hockey to become the minor leagues for the NHL. Last year only 24 players left college early to play pro hockey and 6 of those were from University of Minn. But the NCAA programs also send 73 Seniors on to play pro hockey. The D1 schools are doing a great job right now and with Junior Hockey getting better (USHL, NAHL and others) there are more than enough top players to go around. Your seeing more and more of the smaller schools betting the larger schools. Just take a look at the past 2 years of what schools were in the final 4.
      The only thing I would really like to see is a limit of scholarships offered to non-American born players.

  • FD8

    Buck says it gets rejected.