Recruitment of Student-Athletes Policy

Recruitment of Student-Athletes Policy

Approved by: Senior Staff

Approval Date: February 2020

Related Policies:

Primary Office Responsible for Administering this Policy:

  • Office of Admission
  • Department of Athletics
Revision History: None  

The Amherst College Office of Admission and Department of Athletics created these policies to ensure the integrity of the student-athlete recruitment and admission processes. These policies are consistent with and complement other Amherst College, NESCAC, and NCAA rules. The policies are intended to provide clarity to Amherst College staff on admission practices for recruited student-athletes.


The Office of Admission has the responsibility of determining which applicants are admitted as students to Amherst College. All students must meet the requirements and standards for admission as determined by the Office of Admission and the Faculty Committee on Admission and Financial Aid, and must align with the Amherst admission mission statement.

As stated in the NESCAC Statement of Common Admissions Practices, while admission decisions are made exclusively by the admission office, the coach's assessment of the athletic ability and potential contribution of each candidate is considered. Head coaches may only support prospective student-athletes in the admission process who they believe will contribute to the team from an athletic standpoint, and more broadly to the College community.

Admission Decisions

As stated in the NESCAC Statement of Common Admissions Practices, all admissions decisions are rendered and delivered in writing by the admission office only. Any communication regarding the status of admissions decisions conveyed by non-admissions personnel to any student should be considered preliminary, unofficial, and subject to change. No admission decision will be made until the candidate's application is complete and all necessary supporting documentation has been received.

Supporting Information

Prior to any offer of admission for a recruited athlete, head coaches will provide the Athletic Director and the Office of Admission with a written description of the specific talents of the student-athlete being recruited. This must include independently verifiable documentation of the athletically-related reasons they are being recruited, to be reviewed by the Athletic Director. Coaches will indicate whether they have seen the prospective student-athlete play their sport in person. The written description should include ways in which the student-athlete is anticipated to fit into Amherst College’s mission, including in the classroom and in the community. The form for the written description will also include room for notes from a conversation with a current coach and/or school counselor of the student-athlete and the date of the conversation.  

Disclosure of Conflicts

As a part of the supporting documentation, head coaches will verify whether they have had any pre-existing relationship with the recruited student-athlete and/or their family or representative. Head coaches will also confirm that they have not received any material benefits or promises of material benefits as a part of the recruiting process. Coaches must flag to Admissions and the Office of Advancement any case in which a recruit came to their attention through a third-party recruiter or consultant and provide the name of that person.


The Athletics Department, with support from the Office of Admission, Institutional Research, and other relevant departments of the College, will perform audits (during the annual State of the Sport conversations and roster review) to determine whether any of the recruited student-athletes were not on the roster of the sport they were recruited for at Amherst. For any student identified who did not make the team roster, the head coach of that sport will provide a written explanation as to why the student is not on the team.

Athletic Donations

All gifts are subject to the standards of the College’s gift acceptance policy. Coaches will regularly review the gift acceptance policy to ensure knowledge of the College’s policies. Advancement staff will confer with the Athletic Director annually on the policies.

Communication with Prospective Student-Athletes

Upon an official visit, a student will be provided with a sheet describing these policies and related to Amherst College, NESCAC, and NCAA policies.  

Prohibited Activities

No Gifts

No coaches or staff of the Athletics Department may receive anything of value from a recruited student-athlete, the student’s family or representatives, or college counseling or recruiting services.

No Fundraising During Recruitment Process

Coaches and staff of the Athletics Department may not have discussions with applicants or their families or representatives regarding future financial support for the coach, the team, the Athletics Department, or the College, during the recruitment of any student-athlete, or while an application for admission is under consideration.