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Student Athlete Recruiting
Lamarr Monterio, a sophomore wide receiver at Northeastern University, propelled his high school football team, Oliver Ames, into a winning team.
“I was the first player to be recruited for a Division I school in years,” Monterio said.
He broke numerous state records and received a lot of publicity as a corner back at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, Massachusetts. He said that he started to receive letters from recruiting schools right before he started his junior year.
“I probably got 12 shoe boxes full of letters. Senior year is especially hectic because coaches call and visit a lot,” said Monterio.
The NCAA has a set of rules, which universities follow for recruiting, and it states that a Division I college recruiting a high school player can start sending printed materials on September 1st of an athlete’s junior year. This can include official academic, admissions and student information, any publications or videotapes published by the college, and any general correspondence.
The general rules by the NCAA state that the activities by coaches or boosters that cause a player to become a recruited prospective student athlete are:
• Providing an official visit
• Placing more than one telephone call to the recruit or other members of the family; or
• Visiting the recruit or any other member of the family anywhere other than the college campus.
The universities that sought interest in Monterio were the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Northeastern University, University of Rhode Island, University of Connecticut, and the University of Maine. They sent him many letters and videotapes during his junior and senior year at Oliver Ames. The coaches from these universities also visited Oliver Ames to watch him play.
Recruits are allowed five visits, official and unofficial, to colleges. The college covers the expenses on an official visit. The recruits have to provide their own transportation on an unofficial visit. Monterio chose two universities for an official visit, which were Umass-Amherst and the University of Maine.
“During the day I spent time with the coaches, administrators, and advisors, and from then on I spent time with my host,” said Monteiro.
Prospective Student Athletes (PSA) are often given a host, usually someone who has something in common with the PSA, to show them the school’s campus and other places in the area where the school is located.
Monterio said after discussing his visits with his family and comparing Umass-Amherst to the University of Maine, he decided to go to Umass-Amherst.
“I didn’t choose to go to the University of Maine because of its location. It was located in the middle of nowhere,” Monterio said.
He was offered a full scholarship to Umass-Amherst and signed the National Letter of Intent (NLI), the official contract, to attend the university in the second week of February in 2001.
“The recruiting periods for football are the first week of December to the first week in February. The spring recruiting period comes at the end of April and lasts until the end of May, which coaches are designated twenty days to recruit,” said defensive assistant coach at Northeastern University, JJ Fadden.
Northeastern’s Division I-AA Atlantic 10 football program recruits primarily in Eastern Massachusetts and Southern Florida because there are a large number of recruits in these areas.
“The head coach determines where the recruiting is going to be,” said Fadden.
He said that the football program is allotted 64 scholarships and allowed walk-ons (students who are not recruited, but tryout during the year to be on the team). He also said that there are different periods when a university can contact a recruit. The first period is a contact period where an authorized athletic staff member can visit a recruit in-person off-campus. A dead period is when that same staff member cannot have any contact in-person on or off campus and are not allowed to have any official of unofficial visits. An evaluation period is a time period in which an authorized athletics staff member can be involved in off-campus activities to assess a recruit’s abilities, but cannot have contact with the prospect. The last period is the quiet period where contact can be made only on the campus of the staff member. These rules are to protect the student athletes from an overwhelming number of recruiters and for regulation with the recruiting process.
In February of this year, the football department lost their head coach, Don Brown. Coach Brown had signed a contract extension to coach for Northeastern until 2007-2008 season, but in February he was announced as Umass-Amherst’s new head coach. He also brought seven of the assistant coaches from Northeastern with him to Umass-Amherst leaving Northeastern with one coach, JJ Fadden. This brought about a lot of controversy because in Coach Brown’s contract there is a clause that states he couldn’t speak to any other schools looking for a head coach.