Rowing in college

  • 07 Sep 2015 12:47 PM
    Message # 3514154

    The first place you want to look for information on general recruiting is the NCAA recruiting web site at  You should be able to get most of your questions about the process by going through this page and the pages it links to.  This is a great resource for both athletes and their parents.

    If you feel like you might be interested in rowing in college, your next stop is the NCAA eligibility center. There are two primary areas the NCAA looks at when determining eligibility: academics and amateurism.  You start the process of getting certified as eligible by going to the NCAA Eligibility Center web site at  This flyer provides a basic overview of academic eligibility requirements.  If you have any thoughts at all of rowing in college at a D1 or D2 school, you should register with the eligibility center before you actively start reaching out to coaches as juniors.  

    The primary academic requirements to begin competing with a collegiate athletic program at this time are:

    • Graduate from High School
    • Completion of 10 core courses by your 7th semester
    • GPA of 2.3 in those core courses to be eligible as a freshman
    • An ACT or SAT score that meets a sliding requirements scale based on your core course GPA.

    It is up to each athlete to begin the process of reaching out to programs of interest.  

    The most important recommendation that I can give to any athlete looking to row in college is to not let rowing be a dominant factor in your college choice.  You college of choice needs to have an overall environment that you enjoy or you will not be successful as a student or an athlete.  Do they have a course of study you like, is the size comfortable for you, is the geography right for you, does the cost make sense for you?  You also have to determine if the rowing program is right for you.  Do they match your level of effort and competitiveness?  Will they allow you to pursue the course of study you desire?  

    The easiest way to begin the process of selecting a school is to reach out the recruiting coordinator at the schools where you are interested in going.  Many schools have online forms you can fill out.  You can always reach out to the head coach, but your primary interaction during this period will be with the recruiting coordinator. Send them an email with a brief introduction of yourself.  Be concise but complete and don't fudge on any facts.  Give them your years of experience, your personal best test scores, you current boat and results, and a brief statement of why you want to row in college with their program.  Also include your junior club and coach's name and contact.  You can add some personal information about yourself to give them a sense of your character but don't ramble on too long.

    Throughout the season as you achieve additional results on the water or get new personal best times on erg tests feel free to email the recruiting coordinators with this new information.  This gives them a sense for your continued interest in their program and an idea of the progress that you are making.

    Keep in mind that the coach's ability to reach out to you may be limited by NCAA regulations.  In general they are not allowed to reach out to you in any way until Sept. 1st of your Junior year.  Some schools may further limit contact at their discretion. You are not allowed any individual off campus contact with a coach until you are a senior.  The communication requirements are quite strict and I am not an expert in all of their nuances.

    You are allowed an unlimited number of unofficial visits.  The key criteria for an unofficial visit is that you get no financial assistance from the university.  You arrange travel on your own, pay for your lodging and food, and are limited in the "perks" you can get (I believe it is no more than three tickets to a home sporting event.) You can watch a practice, tour the facility and meet the staff if they are available to accommodate you. 

    As a senior you are allowed three official visits.  During an official visit you and your parents can be given room and board and other perks by the university.  Each program will manage their official visits differently.  If you are far enough along in the recruiting process to desire an official visit the program recruiting coordinator will be able to give you more details.

    Another good tool to use is the camps that various programs put on during the summer.  This is a great way to see the facilities that a program has and to work with some of the coaches on the staff and let them get to know you more personally.  
    The amount of effort that a program will put into getting you to join is directly related to how closely you match the program's criteria.  All programs will provide you with their preferred erg scores, GPA requirements and standardized test score expectations.  Meeting this is usually required to warrant scholarship consideration. However, many rowers walk on to all collegiate programs.  Even if you aren't recruited heavily by your preferred school, maintain contact with the coaching staff. Once accepted let the staff know you will be coming out to walk on to the team. Their familiarity with you and your interest in their program will be an asset during tryouts.

    There are numerous additional sites that promise to hook up promising athletes with interested coaches.  One of the most commonly used is  

    Last modified: 07 Sep 2015 12:48 PM | Anonymous member

Contact Us
The Indianapolis Rowing Center boathouse is located inside Eagle Creek Park on Eagle Creek Reservoir.  
The IRC director maintains an office in the Eagle Creek Park Office Building.

Boathouse Address - no packages
7350 Eagle Beach Drive
Indianapolis, IN  46254
(317) 991-1829   

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Andrew Purdie, Executive Director
7840 W. 56th St.
Indianapolis, IN  46254

Postal Address
Indianapolis Rowing Center 
PO Box 53223
Indianapolis, IN  46220
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