December 10, 2008

NCAA Volleyball Quiet Period and Dead Period

Rules, rules and more rules - lots of rules when it comes to the NCAA. In NCAA Division I Volleyball, we have entered a Quiet Period in the Recruiting Calendar. On December 17th, we will enter a Dead Period. Below are the dates:

December 8-16, 2008: Quiet Period.

December 17-31, 2008: Dead Period (NCAA Championship weekend exception but only at Championship site).

January 1 through July, 31, 2009: Contact Period (with the below exceptions).

1) January 1-16, 2009: Quiet Period.

2) April 6-9, 2009: Dead Period (Spring National Letter of Intent Signing Date).

3) May 1-22, 2009: Quiet Period.

** In those states that play the high school volleyball season in the winter, contacts and evaluations shall be permissible January 1 through the Friday prior to the Presidents Weekend Tournaments.

As per the NCAA rules and governance web page: Contact Period.
A contact period is a period of time when it is permissible for authorized athletics department staff members to make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations. Quiet Period.
A quiet period is a period of time when it is permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the institution's campus. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts or evaluations may be made during the quiet period. Dead Period.
A dead period is a period of time when it is not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off the institution's campus or to permit official or unofficial visits by prospective student-athletes to the institution's campus. The provision of complimentary admissions to a prospective student-athlete during a dead period is prohibited, except as provided in Bylaw for a prospective student-athlete who visits an institution as part of a group. During a dead period, a coaching staff member may not serve as a speaker at or attend a meeting or banquet at which prospective student-athletes are in attendance, except as provided in Bylaw, and may not visit a prospective student-athlete's educational institution. It remains permissible, however, for an institutional staff member to write or telephone a prospective student-athlete during a dead period. (Revised:1/11/94)

As you can see, the Dead Period is the most restrictive. The only thing you can do is to e-mail, call and/or write, while adhering to other applicable rules. As for college coaches, we know that everything is dead during the Dead Period; it is now the perfect time to take a vacation after the NCAA tournament because school is out, we cannot recruit on or off campus, and we can send e-mails from anywhere which has an Internet connection.

The Quiet Period is a bit more inclusive with getting some work done as a coach. The Quiet Period is a perfect time for a Prospective Student Athletes (PSA's) to take an Official or Unofficial Visit. The timing of these Quiet Periods are after the High School season has finished but universities/colleges are in final examinations (so school is still in session) and in the spring, the bulk of the big Club tourneys have finished, but again, the colleges/universities are still in session.

The above rules are just for Division I institutions - For Division II institutions, they have the following dates:

30.11.4 Dead Periods for Other Sports.
There are no specified contact and evaluation periods in sports other than football and basketball except for the following dead periods. (See below) National Letter of Intent Signing Date.
The period 48 hours before 7 a.m. on the date for signing the National Letter of Intent in the applicable sport. (Revised: 1/10/91, 8/2/91, 8/14/96 effective 8/1/97)

In this regard, Division II Volleyball coaches have a good opportunity to get out and see players over the Holidays. This is why parents/players will see NCAA volleyball coaches at club practices and tournament in December and early January, but no DI coaches. Many Division II volleyball coaches will take full advantage of this situation to recruit athletes without having to visual compete with Division I coaches in the same building. As I had written about, there is a competitive (and many times scholarship) similarity between low Division I and upper Division II.

Per the rules, there are no Quiet Periods for Division II Volleyball and no Dead Periods, other than before the fall and spring signing date.

In Division III, it is my understanding that they do not have Quiet or Dead Periods. Since DIII does not have a signing date, because they do not offer athletically based scholarships, they would not have the same Dead Period as DI/DIII. Now, certain institutions may set restrictions about recruiting dates. I have searched through the Division III Manual per the NCAA web page and could not locate any recruiting calendars, but I could be wrong on the DIII situation.

I have had a few questions with regards to the Quiet and Dead periods from readers and how these affect each NCAA Division. The DI impact; the Quiet Period is a great time for Unofficial and Official visits, and the Dead Period is perfect for coach's vacations and for PSA's to have a chance to train without some workaholic recruiter in the corner of the gym!

As for Division II, the Quiet and Dead Periods offer an opportunity to evaluate and recruit off-campus without worrying about the attention drifting to the coach with the cool name embroidered on the polo. DII volleyball budgets tend to keep this Holiday recruiting regionally located (i.e. drivable!).

If you are a PSA, use the Quiet Period to visit a campus, meet a coach and get a feel for a potential school. When the Dead Period comes thundering down, use that time frame to focus on your club training to prepare for when all us crazy Division I coaches descend from the mountain top to recruit in late January!