The NCAA in their infinite wisdom is rescinding its ban on satellite camps. After bowing to the wishes of the SEC and ACC, this shows the NCAA was listing to coaches like Bob Stoops. Stoops in a recent media session with Michigan State beat writers said. “I think it’s unfortunate for the young student athletes in high school. A lot of them don’t have the means to go to somebody’s camps, so I’d like to see it ( the ban) revisited with some restrictions of course.”
The biggest problem with NCAA’s swift judgment was who were they punishing. As much as Nick Saban wanted it to be Jim Harbaugh, it was the less fortunate kids who didn’t have the wear with all to make it to on-campus camps. Bob Przybyblo editor Sooners Illustrated has been covering recruiting since 2009. “OU”s on- campus two-day event is 2-hundred dollars.” Pryzybylo also says since satellite camps are one-day events the majority of them will cost athletes less than 50-bucks. That is a heck of a bargain to be seen in front of coaches from some of the top programs in the country.
OU’s starting center Jonathan Alverez was discovered at a satellite camp, and according to Oklahoma State Insider Robert Allen, the Cowboys have two starters that came from off-campus workouts.
“I’ve gone to these camps, and every time I go I find two or three guys, I’ve never heard of their not ranked or stared by scout or rivals or 24/7, and they’re division-one athletes.” Said Allen
The Rule was also limiting exposure for players who might not be good enough to play at an FBS school but could be the right fit for a North Texas or an FCS program. “There’s always 10, 15, 20 at these satellite camps that can play division two or could go to junior college and have a chance to develop.” Says Robert Allen. Allen tells us that a lot of these kids come from backgrounds where “the coach is more worried about whether there are guns in the school, or if the drug problem’s bad, or whether the kids are going to class.” “He doesn’t have time to send tapes or to call coaches and say “will you recruit my kid”, but they get seen because they go to satellite camps.”
The SEC is lifting its self-imposed ban and letting its coaches hold off-campus combines. This decision by the by SEC is making for some strange bedfellows. In June, Michigan will join forces with 3 SEC schools for two different events. First, Harbaugh and company will go to Cedar Grove High School in Georgia where Kirby Smart and the UGA staff will scout talent at the same time. Then on June 8th, in Pearl Mississippi, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State will team up with Wolverines to put on what should be a heck of a clinic.
These joint ventures will bring incredible exposure for all schools involved especially with how polarizing this issue is. In the Middle of football starved summer, ESPN will rush to see if these big name coaches can get along, and we’ll be watching.
If Big 12 coaches want to make sure players know there is football outside of the Big 10 and SEC, they will follow suit. Can you imagine OU, teaming up with USC, Oregon, LSU, A&M or Ohio State? If you give kids a break on price and make it one day, the response will be off the charts. Coaches from smaller schools will also want to be involved, thus giving more athletes opportunities to be seen.
As utopian as this sounds, discussions must continue. It’s a rare thing that college sports has something good for all parties involved. Satellite camps are just that. Let them continue.