NCAA bans satellite football camps; Michigan, Maryland and Penn State were coming to ODU – Virginian-Pilot
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The NCAA dealt Old Dominion’s football program, as well as Big Ten schools, an unexpected blow Friday when it banned coaches from traveling to so-called “satellite camps.”
ODU had planned to host the coaching staffs from Michigan, Maryland and Penn State this spring .
The ban is effective immediately, but ODU coach Bobby Wilder said he will file a waiver request with the NCAA, seeking to allow the three Big Ten schools to come to Norfolk in June. Hundreds of players have already registered for the camps, he said.
ODU hosted Penn State last spring for a satellite camp that drew nearly 1,000 players. C oaches from more than 40 colleges worked at the camp.
Wilder has been a passionate defender of satellite camps, saying they allow students from economically disadvantaged families to be evaluated by Football Bowl Subdivision schools they otherwise could not afford to travel to.
Most FBS schools evaluate talent and offer scholarships during the spring and summer. Some Big Ten coaches had used the camps to evaluate talent in the South. Michigan’s campus is nearly 750 miles from potential prospects in Virginia Beach.
The NCAA’s Division I Council took up the issue this week, and most of the speculation was that it would postpone action for a year.
However, Alabama coach Nick Saban, spoke out, saying the proliferation of satellite camps could lead to dozens of camps annually in large metropolitan areas such as Atlanta.
Wilder replied that said he wishes Saban “had been been at our satellite camp last year and seen the almost 1,000 players interacting with coaches from 40 different schools.
“Maybe he would have a little better perspective on how important these camps are for the kids that cannot afford to travel to Tuscaloosa.”
According to media reports, four FBS leagues – Conference USA, the Big Ten, the Mid-American and American Athletic conferences – voted in favor of satellite camps. The SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12, Sun Belt and Mountain West voted no.
“I am extremely disappointed in the decision by the NCAA,” Wilder said in a statement. “It is clear to me the NCAA made the decision based on a few Power 5 conferences that are clearly opposed to these camps. I feel strongly these camps are a benefit to all the high school kids that cannot afford to travel individually to the schools they hope to attend due to the cost restraints on individual families.”
Wilder said he spoke recently with Todd Berry, president of the American Football Coaches Association.
“I explained to him that in June of 2015, we ran our first camp with Penn State and attracted nearly 1,000 kids,” he said. “We had over 40 schools represented from all divisions of college football. Every camper had the opportunity to visit with each school. Instead of making 40 individual trips … they made one trip to be in front of 40 schools.”
Wilder said Alfred White, a senior associate commissioner in C-USA, advised him to seek a waiver.
“We will file a waiver through our compliance department,” Wilder said.
The NCAA ruled that coaches are not allowed to participate in camps off their own campuses. Even the ACC and SEC did not have such limited restrictions; coaches in those leagues have been limited to traveling no more than 50 miles to camps .
The ruling does not affect programs in lower divisions, meaning Football Championship Subdivision schools such as Norfolk State and James Madison can hold satellite camps.