FACA Cross Country Clinic: NCAA DI Recruiting

Head cross country and track and field coach for Purdue Fort Wayne, Ashley Botham, talked all thing NCAA DI Recruiting during day two of the FACA cross country clinic. Here are our takeaways. 

Eligibility - Focus on Academics

"Make sure you are staying on track with your core courses, taking your ACT/SAT tests, and then upload your official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center at the end of your junior and senior year." 

"Encourage your athletes to take ACT/SAT tests early, that way they can always retest and get the best score possible." 

"Start talking to your athletes about this early. The importance of academics starts early." 

First Opportunities for Contact

  • June 15th after the conclusion of their sophomore year of high school DI college coaches can call, text, email, or private message on social media outlets. 
  • August 1st going into start of junior year, athletes can take unofficial or official visits. 

Social Media Recruiting

  • Many college coaches will recruit via social media platforms, it is usually the easiest way to get in touch with the athlete. 

"I've had athletes that I have stopped recruiting because of social media. What are they doing on the weekend? If they are posting photos of them already drinking in high school, I know what they will do in college. Encourage your athletes to be them on social media, but use their head and understand what they are posting." 

Unofficial vs. Official Visits

  • You have an unlimited number of unofficial visits. 
  • You are limited to 5 official visits where the coach can pay for your housing, travel, meals and entertainment for the recruit. 

"Best way to figure out what you want, is to figure out what you don't want. Do that by taking unofficial visits during the summer before your senior year." 

Best Practices

  • Ask Questions
  • Apply early to the schools on your top list
  • Make a pro/con list for the schools that you have visited
  • Take multiple visits
  • Meet the team
  • Pay attention to what schools do not tell you -- there could be a reason that it wasn't brought up.
    • Pursue schools that pursue you. If you know early on that a school is not for you, tell the coach. They want you to be honest with them.
    • The attention that you get during the recruiting process, gives you a good glimpse at what you could expect when you get onto campus.

"Mom and dad have an opinion, coach has an opinion, social media has an opinion. If that school is not the best for you, do not go there. People often talk about what athletes should do, talk to your athletes about what they could do." 


  • Full rides are rare, partial rides are common, walk on spots are very common.
  • Fill out FAFSA every year, opens October 1st