The NCAA’s recruiting calendar is divided into four types of periods, and each one has its own restrictions or lack thereof.
The NCAA designs the periods to give high school athletes room to breathe throughout the year. The organization does not want college recruiters taking up too much of their time.
The four periods are contact periods, evaluation periods, quiet periods, dead periods.
During quiet periods, a college coach is only permitted to have face-to-face contact with a recruit or their parents on the college campus. Coaches are not permitted to watch the athletes compete unless the competition occurs on the college’s campus. Coaches are not allowed to visit the recruit’s high school campus.
Coaches are allowed to write, call or text a recruit and their parents during a quiet period. Quiet periods only apply to NCAA Division I and II schools.
The goal of the quiet period is to give recruits a break from the constant contact that usually comes with recruiting. If a recruit is especially good, that contact can be exhausting. Some recruits like that. Others do not.
Quiet periods give recruits a chance to take unofficial visits to colleges. They can only take five official visits (when colleges pay for everything) but can take as many unofficial visits as they want. Colleges don’t pay for that, but recruits can tour college campuses, meet coaches, see athletic facilities and experience campus culture.
All college sports have their own recruiting calendars so it is important to check each calendar to ensure recruiting rules are being followed. Each type of period occurs multiple times during the recruiting calendar and lasts for various amounts of time.
For instance, the 2020-21 Football Championship Subdivision recruiting calendar featured a three-month quiet period from September through November and a one-day quiet period on Dec. 13. There is also a one-day quiet period on Jan. 31. Two more quiet periods are listed for March 1 to April 14 and for June 1 to July 31.