Thank you for your interest in Harvard Athletics. If you are an individual who has begun classes for the 9th grade, or if you are a student enrolled at a preparatory school or a two-year college, then you are considered a "prospect." The following information will help you answer any questions you may have about playing for the Crimson.
What Do I Need To Do To Be Eligible To Play On A Harvard Intercollegiate Athletic Team?
You will first need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. There, you will need to obtain academic and amateur clearance to practice and compete.
Academic Clearance: To compete at the NCAA Division I level, all incoming freshmen must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. The Eligibility Center is an agency that provides initial-eligibility certification for all first-year student-athletes. To receive certification from the Eligibility Center, you must meet the following requirements
- Graduate from high school
- A minimum sum score on the ACT or minimum combined score on the SAT
- A high school grade point average of at least 2.0 (on a 4.0
scale) in a core curriculum of 16 courses. These include the
following core courses:
- English - 4 years
- Math - 3 years
- Natural/Physical Science (incl. 1 lab) - 2 years
- Social Science - 2 years
- Additional English, Math or Natural/Physical Science - 1 year
- Additional Academic Courses (from any category above, or foreign language, social studies, philosophy, computer science) - 4 years
To be cleared by academically, all students must register with
the Eligibility Center at www.eligibilitycenter.org and complete all release forms
provided. In addition, you must contact your current high school,
and any additional high schools you have attended, to send an
official high school transcript demonstrating proof of attendance
and graduation. Finally, you will need to contact the College Board
to have your SAT/ACT test scores sent to the Eligibility
Amateur Clearance: While registering with the Eligibility Center, all students will answer questions regarding their sports participation history. It is essential to answer these questions truthfully and to the best of your ability. These answers will help determine a better picture of the player’s amateur status and identify any potential issues. Finally, in the spring of the student’s senior year of high school, they will be able to request their final amateur certification through the Eligibility Center.
I'm thinking about transferring to Harvard from another school, and I would like to compete for the Crimson. What should I do?
You must obtain a written release from your school's Compliance Office and fax it to Shanna Kornachuk, Harvard's Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance, at 617-496-9950. We are not allowed to speak with you until we receive this release, which gives us permission to contact you. Once we obtain this form, we will call you to discuss next steps.
Does Harvard offer scholarships?
No. As an Ivy League institution, Harvard does not offer athletic or academic scholarships to students. However, Harvard does provide need-based financial aid to those students who demonstrate financial need.
If a Harvard athletic team is recruiting me, do I have to go through the same admissions process as other applicants?
Yes. All prospective student-athletes must be accepted by the Harvard Admissions Office in order to play for a Harvard athletic team. Since all Ivy League schools do not award athletic scholarships, there are no signing dates for the National Letter of Intent. You will be notified of your acceptance into Harvard at the same time as all other applicants. To learn more about the application process, visit http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/.
After my football game last week, a man who identified himself as a Harvard alum approached me and offered to pay for me and my family's expenses to travel to Harvard to visit the campus. We're pretty sure we have to decline, but we just want to make sure accepting the offer is not allowed.
This is considered an "extra benefit" and, therefore, not permitted. Extra benefits are benefits for prospective and enrolled student-athletes that are not equally available to all prospects or Harvard students. If you accept any of these benefits, then you may be in violation of the NCAA's principle of amateurism and you could be deemed ineligible. An extra benefit includes the provision of any transportation, meals, housing, clothes, service, entertainment, or other benefit not equally available to all enrolled students and prospective students who are not athletes.
When can a coach call me?
In sports other than Baseball, Cross Country/Track &Field, Lacrosse, Softball, Women’s Volleyball, Football, Basketball, and Ice Hockey, the NCAA rule for telephone calls states that a coach may not call an individual before the July 1 following the completion of the prospective student-athlete’s junior year of high school, or the opening day of classes on their senior year of high school (whichever is earlier). Once phone calls may be made, coaches cannot make telephone calls more than once per week. Prospects can always initiate a phone call to a coach as long as the call is initiated by the prospect and is at the prospect’s expense.
Baseball, Cross Country/Track & Field, Men’s Lacrosse, Women’s Lacrosse, Softball, and Women’s Volleyball
In Baseball, Cross Country/Track & Field, Men’s Lacrosse, Women’s Lacrosse, Softball, and Women’s Volleyball a coach may not call an individual before the July 1 following the completion of the prospective student-athlete’s junior year of high school, or the opening day of classes on their senior year of high school (whichever is earlier). Once phone calls may be made, coaches cannot make telephone calls more than once per week, but coaches may make unlimited calls to a prospect during a contact period.
In Football, from April 15 through May 31 of the individual’s junior year of high school, one telephone call can be made to the prospective student-athlete. Additional calls cannot be made to the individual prior to September 1 of the individual’s senior year of high school. After September 1, one telephone call may be made per week outside a contact period, but coaches’ calls may be unlimited during a contact period.
In Men’s Basketball, a coach may not make telephone calls made prior to the June 15 at the conclusion of the individual’s sophomore year of high school. Thereafter, coaches may make unlimited calls to the prospective student-athlete.
In Women’s Basketball, a coach may make one telephone call per individual during the month of April, in an individual’s junior year of high school, but after the completion of the Women’s NCAA Division 1 Final Four. An additional one telephone call may be made during the month of May, in an individual’s junior year of high school. One telephone call may also be made between June 1 and June 20 of the individual’s junior year of high school. Furthermore, one telephone call may be made between June 21 and June 30 of the individual’s junior year of high school. In the month of July, following an individual’s junior year of high school, the individual may be called 3 times, with a maximum of 1 telephone call per week. Finally, after the month of July, following an individual’s junior year of high school, 1 telephone call may be made per week outside a contact period, but there may be unlimited calls during a contact period.
Additionally, all communication with the student-athlete is prohibited during the July evaluation period, but if the prospective student-athlete has made their financial deposit to the institution, then communication may be made.
A coach is permitted to make 1 telephone call per month from June 15 of the completion of the student’s sophomore year of high school through July 31 after the individual’s junior year of high school. After this time period, a coach is permitted to make 1 telephone call per week.
If the prospective student-athlete is a resident of foreign country, a coach is permitted to make 1 telephone call from July 7 through July 31, following the completion of the individual’s sophomore year of high school. A coach may then make 1 telephone call per week beginning the July 7 after the individual’s junior year in high school, or the opening day of classes of their senior year of high school, whichever is earlier.
When can I call a coach?
If the call is paid at your own expense, then you can call coaches at any time, but remember that coaches may not return a voice message if you do not qualify under the telephone call rules previously stated above.
Is it okay if I email a coach? Can I text message with him or her?
Like phone calls, you can email coach as much as you want. However, a coach will not be able to respond until September 1 of your junior year in high school. In sports other than Men’s Basketball, text messaging is not allowed by NCAA rules.
When can a coach contact me?
In sports other than Men’s basketball, a coach cannot visit you before July 1 after you have completed your junior year. They can come and watch you play before that, but they cannot have a face-to-face conversation with you until July 1 following your junior year. In Men’s Basketball, a coach may not have contact with a prospective student athlete until the opening day of their junior year in high school.
A few weeks ago, an assistant coach mentioned that the team might want to bring me to Harvard for an official visit. What exactly is an "official visit"?
An official visit is any visit to a college campus by you and your parents paid for by the college or university. Before a college may invite you on an official visit, you will have to provide the college with a copy of your high school transcript and SAT, ACT, PACT, PSAT or PLAN score. The institution can pay for the following expenses:
- Your transportation to and from the college
- However, in Men’s Basketball, the institution may pay for the prospect and parent’s transportation
- Room and meals (three per day) for you and your parents while you are visiting the school; and
- Reasonable entertainment expenses, which includes three complimentary admissions tickets to a home athletics game.
What is an "unofficial" visit?
This is a visit to a college campus by you and your parents and paid for by you and your parents. Three complimentary tickets to a home athletics game are the only expenses you may receive from the college. You can make as many "unofficial" visits as you want and you can make these visits at any time. During an unofficial visit, the only time you cannot meet with a coach is during a dead period. A dead period is when a college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents during this time. Visit www.ncaa.org to learn more about the recruiting calendar for your sport.
For more information about playing on a Harvard intercollegiate athletic team, visit Harvard Recruiting.