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I often see NCAA-mandated recruiting periods listed as either a “dead period” or a “quiet period,” but nobody ever explains whether those mean the same thing. Do they? Also, what is the difference between an official and unofficial campus visit?

No, dead and quiet periods are not the same. Here’s how the NCAA, on its ncaa.org website, defines those periods for recruits: Dead period: The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents at any time in the dead period. The coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time. Quiet period: The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents off the college’s campus. The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school during this period. You and your parents may visit a college campus during this time. A coach may write or telephone you or your parents during this time. Here’s how the NCAA, on its ncaa.org website, defines campus visits: Official visit: Any visit to a college campus by your and your parents paid for by the college. The college may pay the following expenses: Your transportation to and from college; room and meals (three per day) while you are visiting the college; and reasonable entertainment expenses, including three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest. 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 (Division I only) and SAT, ACT or PLAN score and register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Unofficial visit: Any visit by you and your parents to a college campus paid for by you or your parents. The only expense you may receive from the college campus is three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest. You may make as many unofficial visits as you like and may take those visits at any time. The only time you cannot talk with a coach during an unofficial visit is during a dead period.

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