If you want to play sports in college at the NCAA D-I or D-II level, there are some very important steps you need to take:
- You need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center no later than the end of your junior year in high school. A link to the Eligibility Center is available on the Links page. You can also go to the NCAA homepage - www.ncaa.org - then click-on "Register to Become a Student-Athlete."
- You should familiarize yourself with the NCAA academic eligibility requirements. We also strongly recommend that you download the "Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete", which is available for free at the Eligibility Center.
- The NCAA academic eligibility requirements change frequently. Your high school counselor can assist you, but ultimately it is your responsibility to know about and align yourself with the NCAA requirements.
Resources - There are many services and resources available to prospective college athletes. Many of them cost money. A few of them are worth the cost.
- A free and excellent resource is SportsHopes, a high school-to-college student-athlete guide and support system - www.sportshopes.org (there is a link on the Links page).
- The Central Coast Section recommends CBound, which is another free service. CBound believes that high school athletes and their parents can manage their own recruiting process, but it will help you navigate the process - www.cbound.com (there is a link on the Links page).
- "The Academic Athlete - A Step-by-Step Guide" is an excellent book for prospective college athletes. It is available at www.dcipress.com. It costs $26.95, plus shipping.
NAIA - In addition to the NCAA, which governs over 1100 D-I, D-II, and D-III colleges and universities, there is also the NAIA (the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). The NAIA oversees about 300 colleges and universities. NAIA schools are generally smaller, and they often have slightly different requirements, but they offer a full range of intercollegiate sports. For more information on the NAIA, go to www.naia.com. They also have their own Eligibility Center at www.playnaia.com. Links to both are on our Links page.
NCCAA - There is also the NCCAA (the National Christian College Athletic Association). This organization oversees about 100 universities around the country. They are a Christian-based organization which seeks "the maintenance, enhancement, and promotion of intercollegiate athletic competition with a Christian perspective." For more information on the NCCAA, go to www.thenccaa.org. You can also find a link on our Links page.