What Student-Athletes Need to Know: NCAA August Round-Up

student soccer august news

While these have been unprecedented times, the NCAA is working to get back to not only some semblance of normalcy, but to set a timeline and coordinate when next steps are to be taken in moving forward. With that, the month of August was a remarkably busy time as updates were announced frequently as new and information was coming in almost daily. What do student athletes need to know right now?

Key Points to Keep In Mind

Regarding the NCAA and athletic recruiting, the three biggest keys for student-athletes and their families to be aware of at this time are:

Extended Dead Period

  • NCAA D1 Council extended the recruiting dead period (as expected). It will now run through September 30. During this time a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with recruits or their families, and they may not visit high schools or attend games. However, coaches and recruiters may write and call student-athletes during a dead period. On the flip side, the collegiate sports world got some good news regarding NCAA Division 2.  D2 will be returning to normal recruiting rules starting September 1. Teams can once again go off campus to recruit (of course, if their school and region allow it!).

Standardized Tests

  • Important for 2021 high school graduates:  no SAT or ACT score will be required for DI or DII initial eligibility! In the coming weeks the NCAA will be conducting a review as it pertains to the continued use of standardized test scores in NCAA initial eligibility standards. ”Given the continuing impact of COVID-19, the NCAA membership made this decision with the health and well-being of incoming students top of mind,” NCAA Eligibility Center Vice President Felicia Martin said. “We understand the uncertainty in the educational environment and believe these changes will help ensure students have a fair opportunity to meet the initial-eligibility standard.”

Eligibility Freezing

  • For current NCAA student-athletes, one this is certain no matter what happens this fall sports season — fully canceled, postponed, begins then abruptly ends, or able to be completed as scheduled. ALL student-athletes will have their eligibility frozen. The NCAA approved a blanket waiver this month for fall sports student-athletes, giving them an extra year of eligibility. This extra year is regardless of whether when they compete the fall 2020 season. This situation is very similar to what was approved for spring 2020 student-athletes. Their 2020 seasons were cut short during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. A certain domino effect will occur as it pertains to roster availability and scholarship opportunities for incoming freshmen (2021 grads). Be sure to keep an eye out for changes and information as the dust settles.

RELATED: Student Athletes: Three Key Points to Know During COVID-19 (And Always)

Stay On Task

This remains a bizarre and stressful time for all of us.  As a student-athlete and a family, be sure to do a few tasks as we head into the fall:

  • Stay informed
  • Ask questions
  • Communicate at a high level
  • Work hard in your classes
  • Work hard in your sport
  • Gather as much film as you can (in the event that games are cut short)
  • Use Zoom and technology to connect with coaches and programs

These will allow you to be as comfortable and confident in your next steps as possible.  We are all in this together. So it’s up to you as a recruit to optimize this time for yourself and stand out from the crowd!

Chad Dorman is the founder and director of Leonard Andrew Consulting. He can be reached at info@leonardandrew.com.


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