Women’s and Men’s Lacrosse Keep September 1, Junior Year Contact Rule
The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) and the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) are thrilled by the recent decision of the NCAA Division I Council to allow lacrosse to retain its September 1, junior year recruiting contact start date for Division I coaches. The Council approved a proposal with an earlier, staggered recruiting contact for most sports, except for football, basketball, men’s ice hockey, baseball, softball, and lacrosse.
The ACC-sponsored exemption enables lacrosse to continue to assess the impact of the September 1 rule that was enacted in 2017; there will not be student-athletes in college who were recruited under this new rule until the fall of 2020. College lacrosse coaches originally pushed to establish the September 1 date to stem the problem of early recruiting in the sport. The Division I softball coaches adopted the same rule in 2018. The consensus among coaches was that it was too soon to change again. The majority of the NCAA Division I Council agreed and announced this past Friday, that lacrosse and softball could keep the all contact, one date recruiting rule.
Reactions to this news were overwhelmingly positive:
“The IWLCA’s NCAA Legislation committee has worked on the issue of early recruiting since 2014. During this time, our committee has studied the problems, researched solutions, surveyed coaches, parents and prospective student athletes in an attempt to create a better process for both prospective student-athletes and lacrosse programs. We maintain that the September 1 start of junior year date is clean, simple, and allows for optimal playing and evaluation opportunities in the summer and a more appropriate time to visit campuses when school is in session and teams are training. I would like to thank the ACC for sponsoring the amendment proposal to exempt both men’s and women’s lacrosse from NCAA Proposal 2019-93 and members of the Division I council who were willing to watch, listen and read all of the information we sent them in an attempt to better understand the background of our work and most importantly, the needs of our sport.” – Kerstin Kimel, head coach, Duke University, and chair of the IWLCA’s NCAA Division I Legislation Committee
“We are very excited that the NCAA has allowed us to continue to follow our September 1 recruiting start date. This is the right thing for our sport and it’s great to see them prioritize the best interests of young people.” – Mike Murphy, head coach, University of Pennsylvania, and IMLCA First Vice-President
“The IWLCA, alongside the IMLCA, celebrates the great work done by a small committed group of individuals led by Samantha Ekstrand who persuaded the NCAA Division I Council to allow lacrosse to retain the September 1 start date for recruiting and contact. The vision that took form in 2017 for a healthier recruiting process was upheld in this landmark decision by the NCAA.” – Kathy Taylor, head coach, Le Moyne College, and IWLCA President
“The leadership on this recruiting issue by our Division I coaches has been phenomenal. Working with the IWLCA leadership and other critical folks in athletic administrations has enabled lacrosse and softball to continue to have a recruiting timetable that makes the most sense for the students, their families and our coaches. Moving forward we need to make certain this legislation stays in place to solidify the benefits for everyone for years to come.” – J.B. Clarke, head coach, Limestone College, and IMLCA President
For those prospective student athletes (PSA) and parents who would like to visit schools during the summer, know that the September 1 recruiting contact rule does not regulate travel or admissions tours – the rule only prohibits Division I lacrosse recruiting contact. A PSA can visit a campus, just like a regular prospective student; however, he/she may not meet or speak with a Division I college lacrosse coach until September 1 of his/her junior year.
For more information about the September 1, junior year rule and the official NCAA interpretation, please visit the IWLCA's Early Recruiting Action Center.