Out of the coaching clinic pan, into the fire?

Meet Mark Richt and Urban Meyer, lobbyists.

… Georgia is pushing for a change in a Southeastern Conference regulation that restricts assistant football coaches from attending coaching clinics in their home states unless the coach is a speaker. Georgia Tech isn’t prohibited from attending such clinics because the Atlantic Coast Conference doesn’t have a similar rule.

“Any time there’s a function, especially a gathering of high school coaches, we want the same access of everybody else in the country and everybody else in our state, especially,” Richt said Tuesday at the league’s spring meeting. “We don’t want to have a function going on in our state and our rivals can go and we can’t. That’s not good at all. That doesn’t help the Southeastern Conference. It doesn’t help Georgia.”

Florida coach Urban Meyer has the same issue with the ACC’s Florida State.

“You hate to have an ACC school get there and an SEC school can’t,” Meyer said.

Doc Saturday looks at the recruiting ratings and finds the whole effort worthy of mockery

I’d hate to see what the numbers would look like if the SEC — and Georgia, in particular — was actually on equal footing in this thing.

… but in Richt’s defense, I think he’s motivated by something more mundane than the rankings.  To Paul Johnson’s credit, he’s gotten far more aggressive with regard to in state recruiting that the Chanster ever was.  Richt seems concerned – and maybe a little irritated – about having to explain over and over again to high school coaches about an arcane conference rule that keeps his guys away.

“It happens enough to where it could be an issue,” Richt said. “All the high school coaches, they don’t know our rules and they don’t probably care about our rules. All they know is they go to a function and everybody in the ACC is there. Georgia Tech is there and Georgia’s not. That’s not a good thing.”

Bruce Feldman touches on the subject (although he provides contrary information as to the ACC’s position) as it relates to something UCLA’s coaching staff is doing, and notes a reason for the prohibition:

… One of the biggest challenges for Rick Neuheisel is getting more Los Angeles kids interested in attending UCLA. This past weekend, the Bruins took a big step in that direction. James Washington, a former UCLA great at safety and two-time Super Bowl winner with Dallas, staged a free football camp for more than 500 Southern California kids on Saturday at Los Angeles Southwest College. Neuheisel and his staff coached the four-hour Back to Basics clinic, now in its third year and operated by Washington’s Shelter 37 foundation, Brian Dohn reports:

“For UCLA, most of the kids from our area don’t know anything about them, unless you see them on TV,” said Henry Washington, who coached James Washington at Los Angeles Jordan High. “This is huge for the kids to come out here and rub elbows with UCLA’s coaching staff. Rick Neuheisel, I really applaud him for bringing all of his fellows out here.

“Our inner-city kids, when it comes to UCLA, they just know nothing about them. [USC coach] Pete Carroll does a great job in the inner city. Any top inner city really leans toward USC.”

Great idea, right? No doubt, but don’t get hung up wondering whether your favorite school could stage similar camps. It might be against your conference’s rules. The SEC and ACC do not allow such off-campus camps because, as one school official explained, it would prompt every member school to scramble and set up its own roving camps just so it could recruit kids. These conferences are scared of that.

I wonder if Richt and Meyer have considered that.

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