Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy: ‘I’m shooting for the Walmart of football camps’ – USA TODAY
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Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, who might be the pioneer of satellite camps, hailed the NCAA’s reversal of a ban Thursday but said he wasn’t surprised.
“We never really pulled off of it,” Gundy told USA TODAY Sports. “I told the (coaching staff) when the ruling came out that they would reverse it just based on how detrimental it would be to the future student athletes, the younger players that aren’t financially able to travel around country, even in a regional area, to see schools they may be interested in.
“It’s beneficial for us and them. I think they made a great decision.”
As he has for the past dozen years, Gundy plans several camps in Texas. This time, he expects a twist: “mega-camps.” With the reversal, he said he expects more than a dozen schools to be represented at camps put on by the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Before the ban, Gundy had spoken with coaches from several other Power Five schools about combining for camps. Along with junior college and NCAA Division II, FCS and Group of Five schools, Gundy said interested schools included Arizona State, Colorado, Kansas State, Mississippi, Missouri, Northwestern and Oregon State. Given the short notice to restart planning, whether they’ll all participate is uncertain.
But Gundy expects a lot of coaching staffs to see a lot of prospects.
“I’m shooting for the Walmart of football camps,” Gundy said. “It makes sense. If you have a son and you can send him to a camp for $30 and he can be seen by all those different schools, it’s a pretty good deal, right?”
Oklahoma State started putting on satellite camps shortly after Gundy became head coach in 2005. The reasoning was simple: With a limited in-state population, the Cowboys have always recruited heavily in Texas. To build attention and market the program, Gundy took his coaching staff on what was essentially a barnstorming tour: A bus emblazoned with Oklahoma State logos would stop in Dallas or Houston or elsewhere. The coaches would pile out and do a camp, and in three or four stops would cross paths with as many as 900 sophomores and juniors.
NCAA rules changed over the years; where Oklahoma State originally put on the camps, the school now must partner with a school in Texas, in this case Mary Hardin-Baylor. And the numbers of campers have decreased because other schools are also doing camps. But Gundy expects to see 800 players in four stops.
“It’s really a good period for the schools and the student-athletes to get to know each other,” Gundy said.
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