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Recruiting Bylaw Resource Center

Guidance on Bylaw 4-9- Recruiting

The rules that have been formulated by the membership to govern athletic Recruiting are found in section 9 of student eligibility bylaw 4. The following documents are designed to provide guidance to specific questions that are frequently fielded from member school administrators. Just as with any other eligibility situation, principals and athletic administrators (or other school administrators) should direct questions concerning this section to the OHSAA compliance staff: Kristin Ronai, Associate Executive Director, or Ronald Sayers, Senior Manager of Compliance.

Operating Definitions of Recruiting

Bylaw 4-9-1 A student is considered a prospective athlete after enrolling in the seventh grade, or the grade corresponding to the seventh grade for a student from a foreign country, irrespective of whether the student is currently enrolled in a public 7th-8th grade school located within a public school district or a non-public school that is part of a non-public system. Any attempt to recruit a prospective student-athlete for athletic purposes shall be strictly prohibited.
Bylaw 4-9-2 For purposes of this Bylaw Section 9, the term “recruit” shall mean the use of influence by any person connected or not connected with the school to secure the enrollment of a prospective student-athlete for athletic purposes. The Executive Director’s Office may suspend the privilege of participation in interscholastic athletics for up to 30 days during the pendency of any alleged recruiting violation.
*There are two excpetions to this rule. Please review the bylaw for more information about the exceptions.*

Remaining Recruiting Bylaws

Bylaw 4-9-3...Outlines seven different scenarios where marketing, though a form of recruting students, is permitted. Please review the actual bylaw languge to review the  list.
Bylaw 4-9-4...Outlines ten different forms of recruiting that are prohibited by this bylaw. This list is not intended to be all encompassing. Please review the actual bylaw languge to review the list. Situation #10 does require action by a school administrator if an athlete follows a coach to another school. The form for such a situation is located here: Presumption of Recruiting Form

 Bylaw 4-9-5 Prior to enrollment, a student-athlete may visit a public or non-public school in contemplation of enrollment, as long as that contemplated enrollment is consistent with Board of Education or similar governing board policy formally adopted by that school district and arrangements for the visit are made through the principal and/or school administrator designated by the Board of Education or similar governing board. During such an event, it is permissible for a coach to talk with a prospective student-athlete in the presence of a school administrator if the conversation centers around program procedures and expectations but not the student’s expected impact on the program. After the conclusion of the visit, a coach is not permitted to have further communication with the prospective student-athlete about athletics (outside the context of another open house/information session/shadow day) prior to 1) the student’s application fee being submitted to the school (for tuition based schools) or 2) the school accepting the student’s application for enrollment (for non-tuition based schools).
Bylaw 4-9-6 All questions relating to enrollment, attendance or the athletic program shall be handled through the school administration or the admissions office. If a coach is contacted by a parent or another individual who is advocating for a student, the coach is obligated to immediately disclose this contact to a school administrator and to cease all contact with the prospective student and/or parents until 1) the student’s application fee is submitted to the school (for tuition based schools) or 2) the school accepts the student’s application for enrollment (for non-tuition based schools).
Bylaw 4-9-7 Any violation of the recruiting prohibitions as set forth in this bylaw may cause the recruited student-athlete to be ineligible upon enrollment. If it is determined by the Executive Director’s Office that a student-athlete was recruited in violation of these prohibitions, the Executive Director’s Office may deny the student-athlete from participation (which may include participation in the OHSAA tournament) in the sport or sports for which the student-athlete was recruited. Furthermore, the school into which the recruited student-athlete enrolls or the school the recruiting attempts were intended to benefit shall be subject to sanctions as set forth in Bylaw 11. If a coach has been found to have violated these recruiting prohibitions by the Executive Director’s Office, and is employed/approved to coach in the ensuing school year by another member school in the same sport in which the violations occurred, the school where the coach is employed/approved to coach may be subject to other penalties as set forth in Bylaw 11 including, but not limited to, ineligibility for OHSAA tournament competition in that sport.