Do more in your recruiting
Many high school athletes are under the impression that registering with the NCAA or NAIA eligibility center early will get them recruited to play college sports. Unfortunately, this is not the case. High school athletes will need to put in a lot more effort in getting recruited besides meeting initial eligibility.
Registering with either the NCAA or the NAIA eligibility centers is a process in which potential student-athletes must go through in order to be ELIGIBLE to participate in college sports at those levels. That’s right the NCAA, NAIA and individual college institutions want to make sure their future student-athletes have what it takes to play at the college level and to meet academic standards at or above the rest of the student body population.
Why you need to be eligible
The NCAA, NAIA and individual colleges require athletes to continue meeting eligibility requirements throughout their college career. Keep in mind student-athletes are students first and athletes second. College student-athletes will be required to work on meeting their degree requirement’s each semester. Athletes must be able to perform in the classroom along with on the court in order to keep their athletic scholarship and remain eligible to continuing playing on the team.
Why you will not need to register with the eligibility center
Student-athletes often hear from their current coaches or a friend-of- a-friend who tells them; in order to play college sports you need to register with the clearinghouse/eligibility center. This is true if you are planning to play at the NCAA division I or NCAA division II level; however there are more college levels available to student-athletes looking to compete. Other college levels such as NCAA division III and NJCAA (junior colleges) do not require athletes to register with an eligibility center. The NAIA also has its own eligibility center where athletes must register in order to compete at that level.
Why you will not get recruited once you meet initial eligibility
Because the NAIA and NCAA (division I and division II) levels offer student-athletes funding in terms of athletic scholarships they need to ensure student-athletes are prepared for college both academically and athletically. The eligibility process assists college coaches by making sure athletes they are interested in; meet general requirements to play at the college level.
Athletes need to be aware of what it means to register with the NAIA and NCAA eligibility center
Registering with the NAIA or NCAA eligibility center does not mean an athlete’s information will automatically be viewed by college coaches. In any case college coaches do not even access potential student-athletes information until they are serious about recruiting them. Thousands of students each year register with the NCAA eligibility and their information is never fully processed because college coaches are not interested in recruiting them; most likely because coaches do not know anything about the player.
The NAIA eligibility center has some extra options
During the eligibility process for the NAIA there are added options, where potential student-athletes will be able to send their sports resume and eligibility registration to 5 NAIA coaches they choose. This is a great tool which may spark conversations between athletes and coaches. It’s not recommend for athletes to rely solely on this type of communication, but it can help with the recruiting process.