NCAA: New Rules


Noemi Chaves, Staff Writer

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit organization which oversees athletes of 1,281 universities, numerous conferences, in addition to thousands of individual athletes. The NCAA is implementing big changes to the ruling of sports such as softball and football; these changes may result in a more efficient recruitment process.

The world of softball has been impacted over the last few years due to the mass recruitment to universities of athletes ages 11-14 year olds. As of August 1, 2017 the NCAA changed their ruling which caused institutions to return to the old school ways of recruiting athletes aged 15-18. Because the rules are changing, institutions must follow strict guidelines which include the non-scholastic recruiting calendar and non-institutional camp policies, and now the NCAA is looking to take precautionary measures on young athlete’s journeys.

Varsity 2nd basemen, Priscilla Garcia, plans to attend a D1 college following graduation

“As for the NCAA rules – about DI and DII recruiting I believe it is a good thing, it is being driven by the coaches and I am hopeful that all coaches will be in agreement and comply.  The way things are I think it puts a tremendous amount of stress and pressure on young athletes to make decisions and worse to feel like their dreams are over by 8th grade if a school isn’t interested.  There are so many opportunities in College Softball and a place for almost everyone, and to make a very important decision by 8th grade is redic.  An 8th grader is a kid who needs to enjoy being a kid and play softball because she loves it, not because she wants a scholarship.” explains Sony Mitchell, assistant coach at Vanguard University.

When a young female athlete commits to an institution ages ranging from 11-14, she is not completely aware of the risks they are taking, both physically and mentally straining. For example, one day a young athlete may want to go to UCLA and then Oklahoma comes out winning the World Series which may change her point of view, and now she wants to commit to Oklahoma.Young athletes are likely to: change their mind, and want to attend a different institution. Furthermore, a young athlete may experience, a major injury; the coach at the individuals planned institution may resign or be fired.

The NCAA wants to prevent a young female athlete from having to go through all the stress of choosing a university or college at such a young age; they want to make sure she matures, and that she knows what she wants.

Starting varsity catcher, Angelina “Ocho” Sanchez, verbally committed to Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Coach Mitchell further explains how much the rule change will not directly affect NAIA as most NAIA schools do not make these offers, but she believes it will open up more doors for athletes to look into NAIA schools who didn’t before because they committed too early and then were off the table only to realize that wasn’t for them or wasn’t what they thought.

I believe this is a good thing for the game of softball and a good thing for the athletes.” Mitchell concludes.
The recruiting calendar for football players is now allowing an early signing date in December. Players who want to end the recruiting process early can end it early by signing in December; on the other hand, players who would like more time on their recruiting process can wait until the February, the spring signing date. The recruitment process can usually range between the 8th grade year through the senior year, depending on when your full potential skills develop and how strong of an athlete you are overall.

“Being young and being recruited by the best of the best is the greatest feeling ever, but there are pros and cons.” states Jaden Navarrette, a top recruit football player from Norco High School. He explains that it is also very stressful because he can only pick one out of all the great programs and universities that are interested in him.

“As a sophomore in high school, being recruited by places like USC, UCLA, Oregon, etc. it is a bit overwhelming; you have to balance school, sports, family, and all of the little things in life. You really don’t commit until your senior year in which you sign your letter of intent, but you still want to commit to the school you love,” says Navarette.

The Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA), which runs the National Letter of Intent program (where an athlete signs to the institution they commit to), must approve this new signing date in June, but it still has to be voted on. There shouldn’t be objections to this new signing date.

“That early signing period is preferred in most sports, if not all,” said Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips, in an interview with Sports Illustrated.