NCAA extends recruiting dead period through June as coronavirus continues to leave college sports in limbo

The NCAA, for the second time in as many months, announced on Tuesday its extending the recruiting dead period, pushing it out an additional month to June 30 after it was set to expire at the end of May. The initial dead period was to end on April 15 before it was extended six weeks on April 1.

“The Division I Council Coordination Committee extended the recruiting dead period through June 30,” said the NCAA in a statement. “The committee will review the dead period dates on May 27 and could extend the dead period at that time.”

The decision is in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic that continues to affect the sports calendar and has halted play across the country. There appears to be growing optimism that the NBA could soon return in the U.S. after a hiatus of more than two months and counting, but even then it may be without fans and conducted in a bubble environment.

College football and college basketball are still months away from taking place, but the extended dead period — which means no face-to-face contact with recruits and no in-person scouting — is another obstacle coaches and prospects must overcome in the wake of the ongoing pandemic. Typically, this is precious time on the calendar for college football and basketball coaches to take advantage of the evaluation period. Coaches are still able to contact recruits through text messages, phone calls and written correspondence.

At this rate, it wouldn’t be surprising to again see the dead period extended even further before the June 30 date lapses. But earlier this month, NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline laid out a realistic blueprint in which a return to some semblance of normalcy in the college athletics realm is possible. Dr. Hainline specifically pointed to testing, tracing and surveillance as critical areas needed to improve before sports could take place this fall, which presumably would allow for normal recruiting activities to be as well.¬†

“If this is rolled out in stages and reasonably, we’re really paying attention to proper surveillance and we get the tests available, I think we can have fall sports,” Dr. Hainline¬†said in an interview with the Associated Press. “My concern is if we just rush into this too quickly because of this almost sense of desperation that we just have to get going.”

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