Maize-N-Brew: Michigan football will survive without satellite camps – Detroit Free Press
7 months ago Comments Off on Maize-N-Brew: Michigan football will survive without satellite camps – Detroit Free Press
Anthony Broome is a writer at the Wolverines blog Maize-n-Brew. His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Detroit Free Press nor its writers. Read his column every week here and contact him anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Late last week, the NCAA announced that it has banned teams from participating in satellite camps, effective immediately.
This ruling disallowed teams to hold camps for high school players at off-campus sites. Some viewed it as a recruiting tool, which it certainly was, while others believed they were useful to give players an opportunity to grow with feedback from college coaches.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, as he is one to do, stirred the pot with these last summer when he was putting together his first full recruiting class in Ann Arbor. The program stopped in Alabama, Florida, Texas, California, which are perennial recruiting hotbeds.
He was not the first to do so, nor was he the last. But, people tend to take notice if he does something unique.
Other schools, namely in the SEC, did not take kindly to the idea of the Wolverines camping in their neck of the woods.
The SEC was the biggest opponent of the satellite camps when Harbaugh and staff went on tour last summer and made the most noise in terms of getting it shut down. The NCAA, as it is one to do, caved in to their demands as Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney sat on his hands.
Regardless of what the conferences that voted against the camps or the NCAA say, this was about protecting boundaries and keeping prospective players away from schools that want to recruit in another school’s backyard. There were also SEC coaches who were worried that satellite camps staying legal would be more work for them in the summer.
Grown-ups making six or seven figures to coach football would have had to work a little harder. Boohoo.
The biggest issue here is who it affects the most –– the high school prospects benefiting from what these camps offered.
In a lot of cases, the satellite camps provided the opportunity for an under-the-radar recruit to turn the heads of coaches that may not have otherwise discovered them without seeing them in person. Some families cannot afford to take unofficial visits like other prospects can, so it was an alternative chance to network and build relationships.
Anyone who thinks a camp like the Detroit area’s Sound Mind Sound Body features coaches simply standing on the sidelines taking notes is mistaken. Many of the coaches that attended participated in both drills and speaking events to better the athlete’s skillset and mindset on and off the field.
And it was not just elite prospects having access to this. Anyone who was there –– whether he be a starting quarterback or someone who sat the bench –– had the same access to the college coaches available to them at these camps.
This will not hurt U-M. They have a football staff in place that does not appear it is willing to be outworked by anyone and this ruling will not change that. Harbaugh is excellent at finding loopholes to improve his program’s future within the rules and will continue to exploit that, likely ruffling feathers in the process.
The camps did what they needed to do for the Wolverines last season. Michigan has always recruited at a national level, but it needed to create buzz and get back to mining talent from some of the big high school football pipelines.
That mission was accomplished, and the door has again swung open for a nationwide exodus to Ann Arbor from all corners of the country, with or without the help of satellite camps. It will just be a little more difficult now.
The goal may have been to undermine Harbaugh and keep programs from invading other schools’ turf, but it is hurting student athletes in the process, a group of people that the NCAA swears it is protecting.
But what else is new?