Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has made a raucous by hosting spring camps for Michigan football in the SEC and ACC territory over the last few months. These “satellite camps” gave Michian football great exposure to rich football recruiting territories while giving the kids some a different type of practice experience. The NCAA decided this was a bad thing and banned these camps on Friday.
The NCAA closed a loop-hole in its rule book by requiring that schools host practices at school facilities, or facilities it normally uses for practices (i.e. UCLA and the Rose Bowl).
By closing the loop-hole, the NCAA continues to be the greatest guardian of the SEC’s recruiting territory it has ever known. The conference proposed this rule after Michigan’s high-profile camps; but who can blame the SEC for being sensitive, Michigan has been a power house over the last decade, and are clearly a threat to steal all of the SEC’s recruits.
Now to be clear, I don’t blame the SEC for trying to subdue the efforts of other programs from entering their recruiting grounds in a way that gives potential recruits hands on access to the team. I’m mostly angry at the NCAA for giving the SEC exactly what it wanted and not allowing other programs to have that kind of exposure in the recruiting rich area.
The satellite camps could have been a fantastic opportunity for programs that don’t have a lot of exposure in the talented south to put themselves right into the back yards of recruits. It could have been a great opportunity for other schools to potentially increase the talent level on their rosters, or at least garner more exposure.
Instead, the NCAA decided that exposure and access to the recruiting rich areas should be limited to road games and coaching visits. For some reason, the NCAA continues to pass rules that make them look like they hate fun; and that’s not a good look for one of the more embattled organizations in the country.
High visibility coaches like Harbaugh could set-up coaching clinics in these areas, and higher their own coaching staff for the clinics, to get around the new rule. But it won’t help coaches who aren’t nearly as visible, and their programs.