What is 7-on-7 football? 7-on-7 football is an all-passing sport becoming more popular across the country as elite high school players look for ways to sharpen their skills in the offseason or display their talents to college recruiters. Because the sport is not regulated by a national association, rules differ among leagues. Most 7-on-7 games take place on a smaller field with no tackling, rushing or running, and few linemen. Teams are funded through players’ families, fundraising or sponsors, and most 7-on-7 coaches are not part of a high school coaching staff.
What are the NCAA’s policies regarding 7-on-7 football? Prospective student-athletes may participate in an unlimited number of 7-on-7 games. However, the NCAA prohibits college coaches and members of college coaching staffs from attending non-scholastic competitions such as 7-on-7 games. NCAA member schools are not allowed to host, sponsor or conduct 7-on-7 events at their facilities.
What are the main areas of concern in 7-on-7 football? The NCAA is not concerned about what is happening on the field during 7-on-7 games, but what is happening off the field with the increased influence of agents, third parties and scouting services. Specifically, the NCAA is concerned about individuals who may not be working for the best interests of prospective student-athletes inserting themselves into the recruiting environment through 7-on-7 football.
What is the NCAA doing to protect prospective student-athletes during the recruiting process? The NCAA enforcement staff is monitoring 7-on-7 leagues and events to get a better sense of what is occurring across the country. Staff members are also building contacts in the football recruiting environment to identify third parties who are associating with elite players and coaches. As information is gathered, the NCAA is considering recalibrating its enforcement presence at 7-on-7 events and may encourage member schools to examine potential rules changes.
Why is the NCAA concerned about third-party involvement in recruiting? One of the fundamental principles of the NCAA is ensuring that student-athletes pursue an education as their first order of business. It is important to ensure recruiting safeguards that protect a student-athlete’s amateur status. Receiving illegal benefits or preferential treatment could jeopardize a student-athlete’s eligibility.