Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Softball: Big Changes in NCAA Division I Recruiting (4/18/18)

There will be a detente in the nuclear arms race that is softball recruiting.

The NCAA Division I Council announced Wednesday that it passed legislation establishing Sept. 1 of a prospective student-athlete’s junior year as the start date for softball recruting contact, effective immediately.

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association “considers this legislation a huge win for the softball community.”

Softball recruiting has gotten completely out of hand in recent years with the high number of 8th graders and freshman committing to colleges. It was like an arms race that kept escalating.

“This is a great day for the sport of softball! Early Recruiting legislation has passed,” NFCA executive director Carol Bruggeman said. in a statement. “I am so proud of the entire softball community for coming together to do what is best for the sport. Thank you to our coaches for being the driving force behind the change and to the NCAA for voting to pass this impactful legislation. The real winners are the softball prospective student-athletes, who can now make informed college decisions at an age-appropriate time.”

How does a freshman or 8th grader know where they want to go to school in five years? How does a college coach know how that young player will develop physically or mentally? How does a young player know if that coach or coaching staff will be there in four or five years when they arrive on campus?

“I am very pleased that the NCAA DI Council listened to the entire softball community and passed legislation that will truly address the problem of early recruiting,” NFCA board president Karen Weekly said in a statement. “Many people worked extremely hard to accomplish this goal and I am grateful for their efforts. A special thank you to everyone in the NFCA office for their perseverance on behalf of this legislation. Without their organization and passion, it would not have been possible!”

The new rule also prohibits third parties, including but not limited to travel ball and high school coaches, from being used to circumvent NCAA recruiting rules.

So Cal Sidelines believes this is a step in the right direction.

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