Recruiting Essentials: Official Visits

By Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

The world has changed, and it will continue to change.  Twenty years ago, when I was a young assistant taking the recruiting world by storm, phone calls on July 1st, post-event contacts, and official visits could make or break your recruiting class.  Official visits have changed drastically as many recruits are committing prior to the beginning of their senior year.  The use and function of official visits may have altered but they are still important as recruits can continue to bridge their learning curve as they enter their freshman year.

An “Official Visit” is a defined term by the NCAA.  An official visit refers to any visit that a prospective student-athlete takes to a college campus where the college or university pays for any aspect of the visit.  On most official visits, the school will take care of most of the visit, including travel, accommodations, and food.  However, there may be times where an official visit is limited but by rule it is still an official visit if any part of the visit is covered.

Rule states, “An official visit to a member institution by a prospective student-athlete is a visit financed in whole or in part by the member institution.” (NCAA Division 1 Manual, August 2016 – 2017,  This definition is the tip of the iceberg.  Schools must adhere to a lot of rules, many of which the recruit may never know about, or need to concern themselves with.  Others have a direct effect on the recruit and his recruiting plan.

Rules for Recruits

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