Definition of a Recruiting and Scouting Service

A recruiting or scouting service includes any individual, organization, entity or segment of an entity that primarily provides information about prospective student-athletes.

This definition does not include any individual, organization, entity or segment of an entity that primarily provides information about prospective student-athletes incidental to its primary purpose and is generally available to the public (e.g., news media).


New Rule

An institution subscribes to a recruiting or scouting service when a staff member registers to access information provided by the service only to paid subscribers or registers to access information available only to a select group of individuals (e.g., coaches), regardless of whether a charge is associated with accessing the information. However, an institution is not considered to have subscribed to a recruiting or scouting service if a staff member registers to access information about prospective student-athletes from a service that provides the same information to the general public at no cost.

  • Talent Evaluation Services and Agents. [A] A prospective student-athlete may allow a scouting service or agent to distribute personal information (e.g., high school academic and athletics records, physical statistics) to member institutions without jeopardizing his or her eligibility, provided the fee paid to such an agent is not based on placing the prospective student-athlete in a collegiate institution as a recipient of institutional financial aid.  A prospect may not pay a talent evaluation or agent for accepting a scholarship offer referred to many in the industry as a pay later deal.

Approval Requirements

Recruiting/scouting services are at minimum required to:

  • Identify all fee rates;
  • Charge the same fee rate for all subscribers;
  • Publish information quarterly;
  • Provide individual analysis of each prospect beyond demographic information or ranking; and
  • Provide sample reports to institutions.

Scouting Services Approvals are only granted to services that do currently exist at the time of the open application period. Approval is based on how the service operates, not how the operator promises to operate the service.

Approved scouting services may use the following language to promote the NCAA approval: “NCAA Division I football and/or basketball coaches are permitted to subscribe to this recruiting/scouting service. For more information, visit basketball-certification/scouting-services.” but only after the application has been posted as approved in the Scouting Service Approval System (SSS) and approval notifications have been sent after which the service is included on the list available to the NCAA membership posted on REMINDER: NCAA certification/approval does NOT permit the activity/organization to use the NCAA logo, brand or trademarks when promoting your event/league/team/scouting service. This includes, but is not limited to, the name of the service, use of the blue disk, or use of NCAA trademarked terms (i.e., March Madness. Final Four, Big Dance, etc.).

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