NCAA Board will allow college football satellite camps – USA TODAY

6 months ago Comments Off on NCAA Board will allow college football satellite camps – USA TODAY

In a reversal of what had grown rapidly into the most controversial topic of college football’s offseason, the NCAA Board of Governors voted on Thursday to rescind a ban on satellite camps enacted earlier this month by the Division I Legislative Council.

The ruling overturns the recent legislation prohibiting satellite camps, meaning such events will be sanctioned by the NCAA during this offseason.

“The Board of Directors is interested in a holistic review of the football recruiting environment, and camps are a piece of that puzzle,” said Board of Directors chair Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina.

“We share the Council’s interest in improving the camp environment, and we support the Council’s efforts to create a model that emphasizes the scholastic environment as an appropriate place for recruiting future student-athletes.”

In announcing its decision, the Board of Governors asked the Division I Legislative Council to “consider the entire recruiting model, including potential modifications to camps and clinics participation.”

Within hours of the Board’s decision, the Southeastern Conference — which opposed satellite camps and has prohibited its coaches from participating in them — announced it would lift its ban later this month.

On April 8, the NCAA’s Division I Council voted to shut down satellite camps — a term used to describe off-campus coaching clinics attended by prospective college football players. That decision has now been reversed, though the Board of Directors does plan to review the college football recruiting picture at large.

Prior to the Council’s vote to ban, many college football programs used satellite camps to find prospects outside their normal recruiting area — such as in the case of Michigan, which accumulated several verbal commitments last offseason from camps held throughout the Southeast.

Satellite-camp supporters questioned the ruling. At a news conference shortly after the ruling, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said the ban would have a harmful effect on teams outside the power-conference structure, schools from the Group of Five conferences, Division II and Division III. Many such programs rely on these camps — often run by larger programs in one of the Power Five leagues — to find prospects overlooked during the recruitment process.

Shortly after the Board’s announcement, first-year North Texas coach Seth Littrell tweeted a list of nine camps the Mean Green coaching staff plans to work in June. Arizona Director of Player Personnel Matt Dudek tweeted that members of the Wildcats staff will participate in camps in Hawaii, the Los Angeles, San Diego Fresno and Inland Empire areas of California, Utah, Detroit, Phoenix and Tampa.

“We never cancelled them!” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said in a text message to USA TODAY Sports. “We thought this might happen — it’s definitely good for the athletes!”

The vote of conference representatives at the Division I Council meeting resulted in a 10-5 split in favor of the ban. The Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Pac-12 Conference and Big 12 Conference voted to enact the ban, while the Big Ten Conference was the only Power Five league to vote in favor of satellite camps.

Last week commissioners from the Pac-12 and Sun Belt said their voting representative did not vote in the way their respective league membership had desired.

Rodriguez, who favors the camps, said in the days leading up to the Board vote that the issue shouldn’t have come to that. “Here we go again: A rule is passed without a whole lot of input from coaches as a group,” he said. “The sudden swiftness of an overturn or new rule seems to come up every spring. Hopefully we’ll get that corrected in the future.”

Contributing: George Schroeder.


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