The NCAA has okayed the return of athletes to their respective campuses to resume “voluntary” offseason training activities starting on June 1.
But when it comes to in-person contact in recruiting, coaches across the country are going to have to wait a little longer before being allowed to have in-person contact with prospects and their families.
That’s because the NCAA on Wednesday announced that it is extending the recruiting dead period it imposed back when sports were shut down by the coronavirus crisis back in March. This is the second time the dead period has been extended.
It was originally set to expire on April 15. But with most states under stay-at-home orders and the virus spreading through all areas of the country, the date was moved to May 31.
Coaches will now be prohibited from having face-to-face contact with prospective players at least until the end of July.
“The extension maintains consistent recruiting rules for all sports and allows coaches to focus on the student-athletes who may be returning to campus,” NCAA Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, the athletic director at Penn, said in a statement. “The committee is committed to reviewing the dead period again in late June or early July.”
The statement added that the NCAA will regularly evaluate the dead period as guided by medical experts.
Although in-person contact has been suspended, coaches are still allowed to contact prospective recruits through electronic channels such as FaceTime, Skype and Zoom. And the dead period hasn’t prevented coaches from extending scholarship offers to prospects.
Or prospects from committing to schools.
But according to NC State coach Dave Doeren, changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have only complicated the recruiting process.
"I think what it has done is a lot of these kids have made decisions before they wanted to,” Doeren said during a guest spot on a recent webcast. “I think a lot of them had plans to come visit us and visit other schools and compare their A, B, C and D schools and then make decisions.
"Because of this some of them have hit the pause button on it and others have made decisions earlier than they wanted to. So I do think you're going to have a lot of people flipping this year based on how the seasons play out."
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