Over the past decade or so early recruiting was rampant and eventually created a somewhat “toxic-like” environment around the sport at the club and high school level. That issue has since been resolved with the new recruiting legislation that the IWLCA and IMLCA worked very hard to get put in place that banned communication between coaches and recruits until September 1st of their junior year of high school.
Here is 2019 we are coming up on the third year of that legislation and this 2021 class is truly the first class to go through their entire high school career with these new rules in place. Outside of a few players that committed early or reclassified most of the class of 2021 is not committed and hasn’t been heavily recruited.
There is a new NCAA recruiting proposal that could change the new lacrosse recruiting legislation, as it would affect every sport besides football, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s ice hockey. Baseball submitted an amendment to be exempt as well.
Known as Proposal 2018-93, it would permit phone calls, emails, and text messaging to begin on June 15th at the end of a players sophomore year of high school. Visits would be permitted starting on August 1st of that same summer. Many college coaches do not like this change as the sport just went through a change, and coaches are just getting adjusted to the September 1st date.
On February 1st the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has submitted an amendment for lacrosse to be exempt from this new proposal, thus retaining the September 1st contact date. Proposal 2018-93 will be voted on at the NCAA Division I council meeting, April 17-19.
Many college lacrosse coaches do not want this new proposal as they claim it will bring back the ‘rush’ in the summer that hasn’t been there in nearly two years with the new recruiting proposal. Coaches will now have to evaluate and talk to players during the summer when they have been able to evaluate players, consult with their staff, narrow down their board, and then make those calls in the fall.
There is also a fear that players will be getting offers before they are even allowed to take their official visits, which is after the lacrosse dead period of August 1-15. Also, splitting the contact and contact dates could make it harder for NCAA compliance offices to regulate recruiting.
While coaches may be very up in arms about this potential change it isn’t really that bad of an idea. Players will have an entire summer to get evaluated, talk to coaches, and field offers. The players can then use the fall to take visits and narrow it down instead of making what you would call “impulse commitments”, which we have seen in the past and was a product of early recruiting. The proof there is in the amount of transfers lacrosse has seen over the past 5-10 years.
Right now proposal 2018-93 is just that, a proposal. Until it is voted on and potentially past we will not know if it will in fact effect lacrosse or not, but there is the real possibility of it doing so.