Answers on recruiting questions, terms, dates

QUESTIONS ON RECRUITING dates, definitions and information inevitably come up between now and Signing Day for football -- what are the significant dates on the recruiting calendar yet to come, what about the different recruiting periods, what's allowed when, and more. Sometimes it may feel like you need an abacus, slide rule and a GPS unit to figure it all out -- but we're here to help.

Signing Day:
It's a bit of a misnomer in that it's actually a signing period but the overwhelming majority of prep and JC players will sign on what is known as Letter of Intent Day. It falls on the first Wednesday in February, this year it's Feb. 4.

The signing period for football runs from Feb. 4 to April 1. There is also a midyear JC transfer signing period. The first date junior college players who are graduating this term, and thereby eligible to enroll at a four year institution as soon as January and take part in spring ball, was actually yesterday, Dec. 17. That period runs through Jan. 15.

Recruiting Definitions:
There are four main periods in recruiting; contact, dead, evaluation and quiet:

Contact period: Permissible for authorized athletic department staff members to make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations.

*Note: A head coach is allowed only one in person, off-campus recruiting contact and evaluation per prospect during the Nov. 31 - Jan. 31 contact period, with the excepted quiet and dead period dates noted below. A school is allowed a total of six in person, off-campus recruiting contacts during the current time period of Nov. 31 - Jan. 1, with one contact allowed per calendar week.

Dead period: Not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on- or off-campus or permit official or unofficial visits.

*Note: This applies to face to face contact. A school is still allowed to place phone calls. And prospects, as they are allowed to do at any time, can still call a coach.

Evaluation period: Permissible for authorized athletics department staff to be involved in off-campus activities to assess academic qualifications and playing abilities. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospective student-athlete are permitted.

*Note: In other words, this is when schools go out to watch prospects play and practice. The two main time period that this occurs have already come and gone for the 2009 class -- the May Evaluation period and for three months during the football season in September, October and November, not to exceed a total of 42 days.

Quiet period: Permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the member institution's campus.

*Note: In other words, official and unofficial visits are allowed.

Recruiting dates from now through Feb. 4:
The current contact period, where coaches can be out on the road, making in-home and in-school visits, comes to a temporary close on Saturday, Dec. 20, and then picks up again until after the holidays, on Jan. 5.

December 21: Quiet period
December 22 - January 1: Dead period
January 2-4: Quiet period
Jan. 5-10: Contact Period
January 11: Quiet period
January 12-15, 2009: Dead period*
*Contact with any mid-year transfers who are enrolled and required to be on campus to attend institutional orientation sessions for all students is allowed during the Jan. 12-15 dead period.
January 16-17: Quiet period
Jan. 18-31: Contact period
February 1: Quiet period
February 2-5: Dead period
Feb. 4: As noted earlier, Signing Day

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