Question: Coach vs. Parent and College Contacts I have read your book (which is excellent), but I have a few questions. My daughter is a junior in high school and plays summer travel ball on a team I coach. She has received some written materials from several schools, and I understand she can have no verbal contacts until her junior year is complete [with D-I coaches]. I believe as a travel ball coach, I could talk to college coaches about members of my team regardless of their grade in school. Am I, as a coach prohibited from talking to college coaches about my daughter who plays for me? In addition, my daughter and I may have the opportunity to travel to a college tournament in February. There will be several schools participating that she is in interested in, but I assume that she is not to make contact with any of the coaches. Again, I assume that as a travel ball coach I could approach coaches and discuss my players, but in this context could I discuss my daughter's abilities as a player on my team? Finally, as a family we are in the process of conducting college searches for my older daughter. Some of the schools we visit are also schools my younger daughter (the junior) may be interested in. While we are on campus, can the younger daughter make an appointment and talk to the softball coach and is this advisable? Thank you for the book and the web site. They provide a wealth of useful information.
Answer: Coach vs. Parent and College Contacts
As a parent, you shouldn't be talking to D-I coaches about recruiting your junior daughter until July 1 (it's June 15th following the sophomore year for Div. II schools), but if you have any questions about this call the NCAA When you visit the schools with your older daughter, if your younger daughter wants to contact the coach and see if the coach will set up an appointment to talk to her about the school, she can do this. What I recommend to parents who are also coaches is that you let your assistant coach talk to college coaches about your daughter when possible. If you start (or a college coach starts) a conversation about the team and its players, you might want to preface any comments you make by saying, "My daughter is #12, the SS." She's a 2015 graduate, so you might want to talk to my assistant if you want more information about her. Or we will be happy to send a resume and video and to call you at the appropriate time." This way you cover yourself and don't risk getting into any "gray" areas.
When you go to the tournament in February, you could take some team books/rosters along and hand them out to coaches there. You could tell them some of your players--including your daughter--will be sending video links, resumes, etc. and would like to learn more about their programs. I know rules like this get STRETCHED and BROKEN all the time, both by parents and coaches. But my motto is better safe than sorry. I wouldn't want my daughter's eligibility jeopardized by something I did or a college coach did, and if a school is a good fit for her and vice versa, she can make sure the coach knows she interested via the proper channels and proper follow-up when the time is right. Hope this helps...good luck!