Friday, April 8th, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) effectively banning head coaches from orchestrating, leading or participating in satellite camps that take place anywhere but their respective campus.
In many ways the ban hurts schools that are not close to population centers in the southern United States and California. The Big Ten is the only Power Five conference that voted in favor of keeping satellite camps.
According to the official release by the NCAA:
The Council approved a proposal applicable to the Football Bowl Subdivision that would require those schools to conduct camps and clinics at their school’s facilities or at facilities regularly used for practice or competition. Additionally, FBS coaches and non-coaching staff members with responsibilities specific to football may be employed only at their school’s camps or clinics. This rule change is effective immediately.
“I think the wrong message has been put out,” says South Florida head coach Willie Taggart. “No one’s really talking about how good it is for the kids. If you really think about it, this is the right thing to do. Kids are going to camps all over the country, spending all this money to try and get the most amount of exposure, when it’s the schools that have all the money. The schools should be moving around so the players can get a larger variety of teams.”
In the case of the Big Ten Conference, they needed a viable way to get their product seen in the eyes of potential recruits in the South.
“It seems to be outrage by the SEC and ACC,” said Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh. “They power-brokered that out … the image that comes to my mind is guys in a back room smoking cigars, doing what they perceive is best for them. It certainly isn’t the best thing for the youngsters. It’s not the best thing for the student-athletes.”
The SEC, ACC, Pac-12 and Big 12 conferences all voted to end satellite camps. Among the Group of 5 conferences, the Sun Belt and Mountain West voted against the satellite camps, while the Mid-American, Conference USA and American were in favor of continuing the camps.
The vote to prohibit satellite camps was passed by a 10-5 margin. Each Power 5 conference vote counted as two votes, while each Group of 5 conference vote counts for one vote for a maximum of 15 votes.
Before the NCAA banned satellite camps, Alabama head coach Nick Saban openly questioned if there was a benefit to having satellite camps. Saban has said he will avoid all the Big Ten coaches that planned on launching satellite camps in Atlanta this summer.
“How many teams play Division 1 football?” Saban asked. “Are they all going to have a satellite camp in every metropolitan area? That means they’ll have 113 camps in Atlanta, 113 in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Dallas, Houston. I mean, it sounds like a pretty ridiculous circumstance for me for something that nobody can really determine, did it have any value anyway?”
Victory for the ACC, SEC and a majority of schools in the talent-rich southern United States with sizable recruiting budgets.