The NCAA Division I Council today passed Proposal 2016-26, which significantly alters the landscape of college recruiting. The legislation is effective immediately.

The proposal, submitted jointly by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association and the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association, and endorsed by US Lacrosse, prohibits college lacrosse coaches from communicating with prospective student-athletes until Sept. 1 of their junior year of high school.

“We’re thrilled about the outcome and thankful for the NCAA Division I Council’s wisdom in approving such an important proposal,” said US Lacrosse CEO Steve Stenersen. “While no legislation is perfect, this decision represents a significant shift toward the best interests of young prospective student-athletes, their parents and the culture of our sport.”

The adoption by the Division I Council represents the most significant hurdle passed in a longstanding campaign by multiple lacrosse organizations to end “early recruiting.”

“It makes all the time and effort worthwhile,” said Samantha Ekstrand, legal counsel for the IWLCA. “I’m proud of the collaborative effort between the IWLCA, the IMLCA and US Lacrosse. US Lacrosse kept this issue on the public radar — that made a huge difference. The issue was compelling, and the NCAA acted.”

Early recruiting led in recent years to non-binding verbal commitments being made by players before their first year of high school.

“It was almost a three-year effort of formally working on the proposal,” Ekstrand said. “Last June was a big milestone, when the council said it would put the proposal into its regular cycle for consideration. At that point, we knew we’d at least get a fair shake.”

The proposal effects lacrosse only.

“There can be some unintended consequences when a piece of legislation is passed but doesn’t officially take effect for a time,” Ekstrand said. “We moved very quietly to have it effectively immediately. We wanted to avoid a frenzy this summer.”

Note: This post has been updated to reflect the immediate activation of the proposal, which has since been renamed by NCAA as Proposal 2017-1.

Recruiting Coverage

US Lacrosse Magazine published several articles regarding recruiting and efforts to change same. Catch up here.

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