A prospective student-athlete is any student who has started classes for the ninth grade. Recruiting has occurred whenever a member of Sacred Heart University athletics staff, or an athletics representative of our programs encourages a prospect to enroll at SHU and ultimately to compete in athletics.
Letters and Phone Calls
A prospect may receive written correspondence (this includes e-mail) from the SHU staff at the start of classes for their junior year in high school. Phone calls from a member of the SHU staff may not start until July 1 after the completion of the prospect's junior year in high school (in sports other than football and basketball).
In the sport of football, one telephone call to a prospect (or a prospect's relatives or legal guardian) may be made during the month of May of the prospect's junior year in high school. Additional telephone calls to a prospect (or a prospects relatives or legal guardians) may not be made prior to September 1 of the beginning of the prospect's senior year in high school; thereafter, such telephone contact is limited to once per week outside of a contact period. During a contact period, such telephone contact may be made at the institution's discretion.
In the sport of basketball, one phone call to a junior prospect (or a prospect's relatives or legal guardian) may be made during the month of March. After that, an SHU coach may call a prospect on or after June 21 of a prospect's junior year in high school. In addition, an SHU coach may only call a prospect three times during the month of July following the prospect's junior year in high school, with no more than one call a week after the month of July. Division I coaches may accept collect calls placed by prospects not earlier than the conclusion of the sophomore year.
All Other Sports
In sports other than the ones listed above, one phone call to a junior prospect (or a prospect's relatives or legal guardian) may be made during the month of March. After that, an SHU coach may call a prospect on or after July 1 of a prospect's junior year in high school, with no more than one call a week. Each NCAA sport sponsored by SHU has its own guidelines for evaluating or contacting prospects for the purpose of recruitment. To access this information, go to the NCAA website and search for "recruiting calendars."
During a contact period, SHU coaching staff members may evaluate (watch) and contact (speak with) prospects. This includes visiting prospects at their homes, schools or other off campus sites. In sports other than football, SHU may contact a prospect no more than three times at any off campus site. In the sport of football, SHU is limited to seven in-person off campus recruiting contacts with a prospect at any site. However, a member of the SHU football staff may not contact a prospect more than once a week, and may not visit any one high school more than once per week. In all other sports, coaches can have contact only three times in one week.
During an evaluation period, SHU coaching staff members may assess the academic qualifications and athletic ability of a prospect off SHU's campus. In-person, off campus recruiting contacts are not permitted during the evaluation period. The coach may speak with counselors and high school coaches, but may not speak with prospects. In all sports other than Division I football and basketball, SHU is limited to evaluating each prospect only four times during the academic year. SHU football staff members are limited to two evaluations during the academic year; one time in the fall, and one time in May. In basketball, SHU has five recruiting opportunities (a combination of contacts and evaluations) per prospect; however, not more than three of the five opportunities may be contacts.
During a quiet period, SHU staff members are permitted to make in-person contacts with prospects only on SHU's campus. Off campus contacts and evaluations are not permitted during a quiet period.
During a dead period, it is not permissible for anyone associated with SHU to have an in-person contact or evaluate prospects in-person on or off our campus. It remains permissible for a coach to write or call a prospect during a dead period. If you accidentally run into a coach during these periods, please don't think they are rude when they can't say more than a hello. They are merely following the NCAA rules that apply to dead periods.
An official visit by a prospective student-athlete to Sacred Heart University is a visit that is financed in any way by SHU. Official visits may only be made by high school seniors, high school graduates, and two-year or four-year college transfers (except nonqualifiers in their 1st year at a two year school). In the sport of Men's Basketball, a junior may make an official visit after January 1st, but not during the summer months.
The NCAA limits each prospect to a total of five official visits and only one visit may be made to each NCAA school. Five additional visits may be used after October 14 following a prospect's senior year. In order for a prospect to take an official visit to SHU, the prospect must provide the University with:
1.A copy of the ACT, PSAT, or SAT score, taken on a national
testing date under national testing conditions
2. A copy of a high school transcript
An official visit by a prospect to SHU may not last longer than 48 hours, which starts when the prospect arrives on SHU's campus or recruitment begins. The prospect must then depart SHU no later than 48 hours from the moment of arrival.
During the official visit, SHU may provide a prospect with meals, lodging, and complimentary admission to SHU athletic events. Complimentary admissions to SHU athletic events are issued through a pass list. During the official visit the student-host is provided reasonable funds for entertainment expenses. These funds, however, may not be used to purchase souvenir items for a prospect.
While on an official visit to SHU, it is not permissible for an Athletic Representative, Booster, or non-staff member of SHU athletics to have any contact with a prospect.
The NCAA Task Force on Recruiting was recently charged with reviewing current NCAA rules related to official visits and to propose changes in the manner that institutions conduct official visits. With this in mind, we have formalized the following rules and regulations regarding official visits. It is the expectation of the athletics department that all coaches be involved and informed about what is occurring during these visits.
Mode of transportation
- It is permissible to arrange transportation for prospects only (Current NCAA rules prohibit institutions from paying for parents to travel to campus). The mode of transportation may be plane, train, bus, or car. Reservations for plane, bus, or train may be made by the head or assistant coach, but only after receiving prior approval from the Assistant Director of Operations, insuring that the coach's recruiting budget has sufficient funds to allow for the cost of travel.
- If the student-athlete and his or her family are traveling by car, we may reimburse their cost of travel at our regular institutional amount of .20 cents per mile.
- The head or assistant coach should submit a Mapquest printout accompanying the reimbursement form, showing mileage to and from the prospect's home. Under no circumstances should coaches utilize special vehicles (i.e. vehicles with TV's or Playstations) when transporting a prospect.
Meals and Lodging
- Coaches and/or student hosts may take the prospect off-campus to dine, but they must stay within the 30 mile radius and dine at establishments that are modest in price. For a complete listing of acceptable dining facilities, please see the Assistant Director for Marketing and Development.
- If the prospect will be dining on campus, meal passes must be received from the Associate AD for Compliance. There is a limit of $10 per meal for each pass. Under no circumstances should a prospect dine on a student-athlete's meal card.
On campus housing of prospects
- All prospects that are staying on campus must check in with campus security in order to secure parking and be admitted overnight into the dormitories.
- Under no circumstances should a coach arrange on-campus housing for a prospect whose visit has not been approved by the Associate AD.
Off campus housing of prospects and/or parents
- It is acceptable for the head coach or assistant to arrange a hotel room for the prospect and/or his or her parents. The hotel must be within 30 miles of campus. We recommend the Trumbull Marriott or the Bridgeport Holiday Inn. Special rates are available - please see the Assistant AD for Marketing for access to these discounts. Under no circumstances should a "special" suite or room with additional amenities be provided. Please remember that the prospect and/or parents are responsible for all incidental expenses made during their stay. It is a good idea when making the reservation to request that the phones and access to pay for view movies are shut off.
Game day activities
- All prospects on official or unofficial visits are entitled to up to three complimentary admissions to our home events. Head coaches should fill out the form entitled "Complimentary Pass List" designated for recruits. Such complimentary admissions are for the exclusive use of the prospect and those persons accompanying the prospect on the visit and must be issued only through a pass list on an individual-game basis. The prospect and his or her guests must show an ID to gain admittance.
- While the official visit remains under the supervision of the coaching staff, there are certain institutional mandates regarding entertainment. Under no circumstances should an underage prospect be allowed to consume alcohol or be taken to a nightclub where alcohol is being served. Student hosts should also refrain from taking the prospect to any parties hosted by persons other than the coaching staff.
- Under no circumstances should someone other than a member of a SHU team act as host to the prospect. All hosts must be certified as eligible to compete by the compliance office.
- Under no circumstances should the official visit include interaction with boosters. If you and the prospect are at an event and are approached by a booster, you should end the conversation as quickly as possible, letting them know that NCAA rules prohibit them from speaking with the recruit.
- While it is not a mandate, all official visits should include an academic component. This may be an interview with the student-athlete academic advisor or attendance in a class. Prior approval from the faculty member is required.
An unofficial visit is a visit that is financed in whole by a prospective student-athlete (prospect). Sacred Heart University may not provide any funds to assist a prospect or their family to visit our campus. If SHU did so, the visit would then be considered an official visit.
A prospect may take an unlimited number of unofficial visits to SHU. However, all visits are not permitted during a dead period.
On an unofficial visit, SHU may not provide a prospect with lodging, transportation, or meals (Note: transportation may only be provided on-campus and to off-campus athletic facilities). However, it is permissible for SHU to provide a prospect up to three complimentary admissions to an SHU athletic event. Admission may only be granted through a pass list and seating is restricted to the general student seating area. SHU may not reserve additional seating for additional individuals accompanying a prospect. Other individuals accompanying a prospect must purchase admissions the same as the general public. In addition, and similar to an official visit, an athletic representative or non-staff representative of SHU Athletics may not have contact with a prospect during an unofficial visit.
National Letter of Intent
Sacred Heart University is a member of the National Letter of Intent Program, which is administered by the Collegiate Commissioners Association.
The National Letter of Intent is an agreement among those schools that once a prospect accepts an offer of athletic/assistance/financial aid to attend an NCAA school, other NCAA schools will recognize the offer and cease to recruit the prospect.
Once a prospect has signed a National Letter of Intent, the prospect has then committed him/herself to SHU as long as they are accepted for admission and meet NCAA requirements. SHU also commits an athletic scholarship to the prospect.
The National Letter of Intent is only an agreement of scholarship from SHU to the prospect for one year. It is not an offer of admission to SHU. The sole decision maker concerning admissions is the SHU Office of Admissions.
Prospects should become familiar with the procedures of the National Letter of Intent before signing. For example, restrictions exist as to when you may sign a National Letter of Intent. For further information regarding the national letter of intent ask the SHU staff that is recruiting you and/or click on the following NCAA heading that deals with National Letter of Intent.