A former Oklahoma Baptist University Female Athlete of the Year, Lori Manning served as an assistant coach of the school’s softball team upon graduation and has since coached multiple college softball teams. Lori Manning’s most recent head coaching position was at North Greenville University, where she led the softball program through its transition from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Several prospective NCAA athletes, including softball players, will have to wait a little longer before committing to a school thanks to new recruiting regulations approved by the NCAA Division I Council in April. Almost half of Division I softball players had scholarship offers by the time they were in Grade 10, while the sport has the most student-athletes who committed to their respective college by the time they were in Grade 9. The new rules prohibit schools’ athletic departments from taking part in potential recruit’s unofficial visit until September 1 of their junior year in high school. Recruiting conversations prior to that date are also prohibited. The rules affect all college sports except football and men’s and women’s basketball.
While rules regarding official campus visits don’t go into effect until August 1, the softball-specific recruiting rules go into effect immediately. The changes were initially requested by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association so that student-athletes have more time to make informed decisions about their future.