Prospective Student-Athletes

This sub-site is intended to highlight some pertinent NCAA rules for you as a prospective student-athlete at UC San Diego.  It is impossible to cover every NCAA rule that impacts you as a Division II prospect.  If you ever have any questions about NCAA rules and regulations, please contact the Compliance Office staff.

Definition of a Prospect:

A prospective student-athlete is any student who: has started classes for the 9th grade; is a student younger than the 9th grade who has received a benefit from UC San Diego; is a student in a preparatory school or 2-year college; OR is a student at a 4-year institution who has been issued a release by his/her university.

You become a "recruited" prospective student-athlete at UC San Diego if any coach or representative of the University's athletics interests (i.e. "booster") does any of the following:

  • Provides you with an official visit to UC San Diego
  • Calls you or your family member on more than one occasion
  • Meets with you or a family member anywhere off-campus
  • Issues you a National Letter of Intent

Essential Information for Prospects:

NCAA Recruiting Rules

The NCAA strictly regulates when and how coaches and athletic department staff members can contact prospective student-athletes.  Depending on the circumstances, they may not always be able speak to you or get back to you via phone or email.  When contacting a coach or administrator, ALWAYS leave a detailed message that includes your age, grade level and school.  This will help the coach/administrator determine whether he/she is allowed to have contact with you. 

The NCAA has a helpful Division II Recruiting Timeline with important definitions and a DII recruiting timeline to help you understand some of these rules.  Please note, recruiting contact rules are different across Divisions I and II and III.

See Recruiting Rules FAQs section below for answers to some of the most frequently asked recruiting questions.

NCAA Initial Eligibility Standards

In oder to be eligible for practice and competition, incoming freshmen must meet the NCAA's initial eligibility requirements for Division II.  These academic requirements consist of a combination or a core course pattern, GPA and SAT/ACT scores. NCAA eligibility standards are separate from the UC San Diego's admissions standards you must meet to be considered for admission to UC San Diego.  Divisions I and II have different eligibility standards so check in early to make sure you are on track to meeting NCAA Initial Eligibility Standards.

Transfer Student Eligibility

Prospective student-athletes who wish to transfer to UC San Diego are subject to Division II transfer eligibility rules.  The rules are different depending on whether you are transferring from a 2-year junior college or a 4-year institution. For an overview of transfer eligibility rules, please reference the NCAA's Transfer 101 guide.  If you have questions about transfer rules, please contact Katie McGann, Associate Athletic Director at or 858/534-8700.

Please note: if you are a student currently at another 4-year NCAA or NAIA school, OR if you have been enrolled at another 4-year institution in the last year, UC San Diego coaches and administrators are not allowed to have any contact with you unless you have a release (also known as permission to contact) from your 4-year institution.

To obtain a release, you will need to contact the athletics department at your current or former 4-year institution.  Once you have your release, please email ( or fax (858/534-8172) it to Abrina Wheatfall, Assistant Athletic Director, in the UC San Diego Compliance Office.  Once we have the release, UC San Diego coaches and administrators can have contact with you.

NCAA Eligibility Center

All incoming student-athletes are required to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and submit certain information.  The Eligibility Center evaluates both the academic and amateur status of all incoming student-athletes.  Register and complete your assigned tasks as early as possible to avoid delays once you get to UC San Diego.

Delayed Collegiate Enrollment Concerns

Prospective student-athletes should be aware that under NCAA Division II rules, there are potential eligibility issues for an individual who delays his/her initial full-time collegiate enrollment beyond 1-year from his/her high school graduation date.  For example, if you graduate in June 2014, there are potential eligibiltiy issues if you do not enroll as a full-time college student by Fall 2015.  If you have or are planning to delay your collegiate enrollment beyond the 1-year grace period, you may be charged with using 1 of your 4 seasons of eligibility in your sport if you participate in any manner of organized competition, which includes but is not limited to things as seeminly as harmless as a recreational league.  Please read below for the exact NCAA bylaw language.

NCAA Division II Bylaw states that "an individual who does not enroll in a collegiate institution as a full-time student in the regular academic year that begins immediately after a one-year timer period (the nedt opprotunity to enroll after the one-calendar year period has elapsed) following his or her high school graduation date shall use one season of intercollegiate competition for each consecutive 12-month period after the one-year time period and before initial full-time collegiate enrollment in which the individual participates in organized competition per Bylaw (see below). Organized Competition

Athletics competition shall be considered organized if any one of the following conditions exists:
a. Competition is scheduled in advance;
b. Official score is kept;
c. Individual or team standings or statistics are maintained;
d. Official timer or game officials are used;
e. Admission is charged;
f. Teams are regularly formed or team rosters are predetermined;
g. Team uniforms are used;
h. An individual or team is privately or commercially sponsored; or
i. The competition is either directly or indirectly sponsored, promoted or administered by an individual, an organization or any other agency. 

Graduation Rates

At UC San Diego, our student body graduates from the institution at a rate of 86%!  Student-athletes graduate at an even higher rate, 92%!

These figures come from the University's most recent federal Graduation Rates report and our Division II Academic Success Rate. Both reports are a measure of the graduation rate of UC San Diego students. 

The federal report measures the percentage of students and students-athletes who graduate from an isntitution within the 6-year federal guideline.  Only student-athletes who were on athletic scholarship during their first year of enrollment at the institution are included in this federal graduation report.

The Division II Academic Success Rate is a more comprehensive measure of student-athlete graduation rates at UCSD.  It measures the percentage of student-athletes, including transfers, who graduate from our institution within 6-years of their initial full-time collegiate enrollment, regardless of athletics aid.  If a student-athlete was on an NCAA athletics team during their first year of enrollment at UCSD, they are included in this report.

Year-Round Drug Testing

The NCAA randomly selects institutions and student-athletes for drug testing throughout the academic year, including the summer. All student-athletes are subject to drug testing before, during or after their competitive seasons.  All student-athletes need to be aware of the NCAA Banned Drugs list and should check with the Athletic Trainers for any questions. Student-athletes who test positive are subject to at least a one-year suspension and loss of eligibility.

Many nutritional/dietary supplements contain NCAA banned substances. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not strictly regulate the supplement industry; therefore the purity and safety of nutritional/dietary supplements cannot be guaranteed. Impure supplements may lead to a positive drug test. The UC San Diego Athletics Department does not promote the use of nutritional/dietary supplements and the use of such supplements is at the student-athlete's own risk. Student-athletes should contact the Head Athletic Trainer, Vanessa Yang ( or Director of Strength and Conditioning, Myles Cooper ( for further information.

Additional information may also be found through the Center for Drug Free Sport, which sponsors a confidential Resource Exchange Center (REC) for student-athletes and athletics staff with questions about nutritional supplements The REC may be contacted toll free at (877) 202-0769 or by clicking the link above.  When accessing the REC via the Internet, the required password is ncaa2.

California Assembly Bill 2079

On September 30, 2010, AB 2079 was signed into California law by the Govenor.  This law requires educational institutions that offer athletics scholarships, or that provide, by any delivery method, written mateiral regarding their athletic program to a student-athlete, to provide a direct link to the institution's Internet web page where the student-athlete shall be able to access all information regarding the institution's athletic scholarship program.  By clicking here you will find information and links that provide a comprehensive review of all issues related to UC San Diego athletics scholarships, medical related expenses and the transfer release process.

Recruiting Rules FAQs:

1.      What is an official visit?

Any visit to a college campus where the institution pays for part or all of your expenses.  You are only allowed to take one official visit per institution.  In Division II, there is no limit on the total number of schools you may visit for an official visit.  In Division I, you are limited to a total of 5 official visits with Division I institutions.  UC San Diego is Division II and does not count against a prospect's Division I 5-visit limit.  In Division II, a school can bring you in on an official visit starting June 15 going into your junior year in high school.

2.     What is an unofficial visit?

An unofficial visit is any visit to a college that is not paid for by the institution.  Unlike with official visits, you are allowed to take as many unofficial visits to a school as you like AND you can go on an unofficial visit at any age.  In Division II, a prospect (and his/her relatives or legal guardians) can be provided with 1 on-campus meal as part of an unofficial visit and the institution can arrange for on-campus parking for you.  The institution cannot pay for any other expenses during an unofficial visit other than the 1 on-campus meal.

3.     When is the first opportunity a UC San Diego coach may communicate with me?

There are different rules for different means of communication.  The NCAA's Division II Recruiting Timeline will give you a complete breakdown of when and how UC San Diego coaches can have contact with you and your parents. Remember recruiting rules are different for Divisions I, II and III.  Most (not all) recruiting contact with a recruit in Division II cannot begin before June 15th going into a recruit's junior year in high school.  

4.     When can I start calling a UC San Diego coach?  When can I start emailing them?

Prospective student-athletes and their parents may call a UC San Diego coach at any time.  If the coach answers the call, he/she is free to talk to you.  However, if you leave a message, NCAA rules may not allow the coach to return your call.  Please reference the abovementioned Division II Recruiting Timeline for the rules. 

Similar to phone calls, you can always email a UC San Diego coach.  However, unless you've reached the June 15 going into your junior year in high school recruiting trigger date, the coach is not allowed to email you back except to explain the NCAA contact rules.

Remember, if you are a student at another 4-year institution and are attempting to contact a UC San Diego coach or administrator, you must have been issued a release.


Additional Resources

UC San Diego Recruiting 101 Information


Division II Recruiting Timeline

National Letter of Intent (NLI)

NCAA Eligibility Center

NCAA Initial Eligibility Standards

UC San Diego Office of Admissions 

UC San Diego Office of Financial Aid

Contacting the Compliance Office

Remember this is not a complete list of NCAA rules. Please contact a compliance staff member if you have any questions or before taking action that may be contrary to NCAA rules.  Click here to view the Compliance staff contact information.