NCAA re-institutes dead period due to coronavirus outbreak
The NCAA announced on Friday, March 13, that all Division I sports would enter a recruiting dead period until April 15. The dead period eliminates on-campus and off-campus in-person contact with prospective student-athletes, but still permits phone calls and electronic communication between coaches and eligible recruits.
This temporary in-person contact ban was instituted by the NCAA in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and in conjunction with measures to stop its spread. Prior to Friday’s ban, the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level had been in a quiet period, which allowed prospective student-athletes to make campus visits. That period was scheduled to last until April 15, which is the start of the Spring Evaluation Period when college coaches can evaluate prospective student-athletes off-campus.
Interestingly, this temporary dead period comes less than two weeks after Division I football emerged from an unprecedented 28-day dead period in February. In previous years, only the week of National Signing Day in early February had been designated as a dead period. This year was the first where that dead period stretched until the end of the month.
The February dead period forced numerous college programs to push traditional February junior day dates into the months of March and April. With the NCAA’s announcement on Friday of a new dead period, though, many of those re-scheduled junior days have now been canceled. LSU was expecting a big group of recruiting targets on campus this upcoming weekend, while March 20 was scheduled to be a big recruiting weekend for Notre Dame, with Rivals100 prospects like Nolan Rucci and Rocco Spindler among those expected.
April 1 was set to be the first day prospects in the class of 2021 could take official visits, but this ban now eliminates at least the first two weeks of that official visit window. Top prospects like five-star Tommy Brockermeyer (Alabama), Landon Tengwall (Notre Dame) and Jager Burton (Ohio State) had previously scheduled official visits during the first two weekends of April.