If you have been a fan of college football the past 10 plus years, you know the NCAA routinely takes a very long time to make decisions on an investigation or potential rules change. This decision last Friday about satellite camps however was much different. The quick decision and immediate rules change on satellite camps has caused many questions. Many view it as not benefiting the student athlete and only limits their exposure. This may be one of those rare occasions we see Big Ten programs, that are usually rivals, join together and fight to argue this decision because of the national impact this will have.
Jim Harbaugh did not break any rules last summer on his “summer swarm” tour, doing 10 camps in nine days, but made many schools from the south upset. They saw it as a recruiting advantage when other coaches were spending their summers away from the game. We have seen other schools before Harbaugh conduct satellite camps, but nobody cared or were upset enough to raise their hand bringing it to the attention of the NCAA. Harbaugh was given the spotlight due to the amount of summer camps and the majority of them being away from the Midwest.
The ones who matter most from all this will be the those impacted, which are the kids attending the camps and high schools offering them. Harbaugh will be just fine and recruits will still come to Michigan to play college football. High profile coaches and their programs do not depend on these camps for their future success. High school coaches hold these events, not only to help their players and the local talent get recognized, but also to raise money for their program and build relationships with colleges. Kids cannot attend several camps due to the financial burden it has on them. The ones who cannot be exposed through multiple camps or national events count on them locally to be seen and get that opportunity to be considered for a scholarship.
High School Head Coach Perspective
Kevin Rose is the head coach at Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama and was very excited to host the Michigan football staff at his upcoming camp in June. When I caught up with him over the weekend he had this to say about this decision by the NCAA. “Lost opportunity for high school players and coaches. Throwing the baby out of the bath water only hurts the kids. Maybe a limit but no ban, two satellite camps per FBS school. My kids, for example, can’t afford to drive Ann Arbor, it’s the under recruited kid who is hurt and high school coaches trying to move to college jobs by proving themselves and forming relationships and making connections with D1 coaches.”
A top target in Michigan posted this on Twitter yesterday.
— Donovan P. Jones (@dpeoplesjones) April 10, 2016
His mother, Rozlan Peoples, started a petition about this sharing her story as a single mother and raising a talented football player being heavily recruited. Sam Webb, among many others, shared it through social media with over 7,200 supporters already since yesterday.
Here's the petition to overturn the NCAA ban on satellite camps – sign and share – https://t.co/mpZ5w5QDob
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) April 11, 2016
My Twitter poll results
Should satellite camps be banned?
— David Noe (@DavidRNoe) April 10, 2016
While we may not see this topic get revisited by the NCAA in the near future, many are taking action and joining together so they can be heard. My hope is that it gets revisited to propose with guidelines allowing them to take place but programs being more selective when and where.