Guidelines for Prospects and Their Families
Compliance with NCAA and Ivy rules requires diligence on the part of both the Department of Athletics and Princeton University as a whole. Below is a summary of the basic issues that you may be faced with as a prospective student-athlete.
1. You become a prospective student-athlete if you have started classes for the ninth grade. Before the ninth grade, you become a prospective student-athlete if Princeton provides you (or your relatives or friends) any financial aid or other benefits that the college does not provide to prospective students generally.
2. You become a "recruited" prospective student-athlete at a particular college if any coach or representative of athletics’ interest solicits you or your family for the purpose of securing your enrollment and participation in intercollegiate athletics. Activities by coaches or representatives that trigger recruited status are:
• Paying some or all of your expenses during a visit to campus (known as an "official" visit);
• Arranging an in-person, off-campus encounter with you and/or your parent(s) or legal guardian; or
• Initiating or arranging a telephone contact with you, your family or guardian on more than one occasion for the purpose of recruitment.
General Recruiting Guidelines
The NCAA limits the amount of contact and communication between prospective student-athletes and college coaches. College coaches are only permitted to communicate with prospects at specific times and must abide by their sports’ recruiting calendar.
Letters and emails may be sent to you by college coaches and faculty members after the first day of your junior year in high school or September 1 of that year whichever comes first. A Division I university may provide you with the following printed materials:
• General correspondence, including letters, U.S. Postal Service postcards and institutional note cards;
• Game programs;
• NCAA educational information;
• One athletic publication (media guide or recruiting brochure);
• Official academic, admissions and student services publications published or videotapes produced by Princeton and available to all students;
• Schedule and business cards;
• Questionnaires which may be provided prior to your junior year; and
• Camp brochures which may be provided prior to your junior year.
Phone calls to you from faculty members and coaches are permitted beginning July 1 (Sept. 1 for football) after the completion of your junior year. In addition, football coaches may call a prospect or the prospect's family once during the month of May during the prospect's junior year.
A college coach or faculty member is limited to one telephone call per week to you (or your parents/legal guardians). Unlimited calls may be made to you (or your parents/legal guardians) during the following circumstances.
• The five days immediately before your official visit by the university you will be visiting;
• On the day of a coach's off-campus contact with you;
• During the time beginning with the initial National Letter of Intent signing date in your sport through the two days after the signing date.
A college coach may not send you a text message or send an instant message (i.e., AOL, MSN). In addition, a college coach may not write a message or post a comment to your social network profile (i.e., facebook, myspace).
A "contact" is any face-to-face encounter between you or your parent(s) or legal guardian and an institutional staff member or athletic representative during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of greeting.
An "evaluation" is any off-campus activity designed to assess your academic qualifications or athletic ability, including any visit to your high school (during which no contact occurs) or the observation of any practice or competition in which you participate. If you are interested in playing a sport at Princeton University, please select the following link and complete an online questionnaire.
For more information on NCAA recruiting rules please contact the Compliance office at (609) 258-5312.
Useful Resources for Prospective Student-Athletes
- NCAA Website
- NCAA Eligibility Center
- Princeton University Admission Information
- Princeton University Financial Aid Information
- Ivy League Website
- Ivy League Admissions and Financial Aid Statement (PDF)
- A Guide for Ivy Alumni and Friends of Athletics
- Princeton Athletics Official Visit Policy
- SAT I & SAT II Test Dates