The NCAA, helping the rich get richer since 1906

The reviews are in on yesterday’s decision to ban satellite camps.  It’s a boffo box office smash!

Bruce Feldman:  “In the end this will be seen by many as the NCAA putting Harbaugh and other cold weather coaches in their places but in reality it’s just closing the window on more recruits getting exposure to more coaches — and taking away more opportunity. And that’s nothing to celebrate.”

South Florida coach Willie Taggart:  “If you really think about it, [camps are] the right thing to do. Kids are going to camps all over the country, spending all this money to try and get the most amount of exposure, when it’s the schools that have all the money. The schools should be moving around so the players can get a larger variety of teams.”

Mike Leach: “It appears that the selfish interests of a few schools and conferences prevailed over the best interests of future potential student-athletes,” WSU coach Mike Leach said in a text message to the Seattle Times. “The mission of universities and athletic programs should be to provide future student-athletes with exposure to opportunities, not to limit them. It appears to me that some universities and conferences are willing to sacrifice the interests of potential student-athletes for no better reasons than to selfishly monopolize their recruiting bases.”

Kevin Scarbinsky:  “But seriously, and sadly, the biggest losers here are the members of what should be the most important constituency in college football. They’re the young men playing the game that enriches so many others, and as often happens when men in suits make this kind of decision, it reinforces the notion that college football isn’t all that interested in putting its players first.”

Houston Strake Jesuit coach James Clancy: “Helping kids is supposed to be why we do what we do, and this doesn’t help them in any way,” Clancy, who had three recruits sign with FBS programs in 2016, said. “It’s very disappointing. Every year, we would have kids that didn’t need to leave the Houston area to get exposure to out-of-city or out-of-state schools. Not every kid can afford the major expense to travel to a camp. People who make the decisions need to remember that it is all about the kids who are chasing dreams.”

Paul Myerberg“The new legislation hurts the Group of Five, but the real losers are clear: under-recruited prospects who used these camps to gain access to potential scholarship offers. If a move designed to even the playing field on a conference-wide level, the NCAA has instead robbed prospective student-athletes from casting their own wide recruiting net.

For every five-star recruit there are hundreds — if not thousands — of prospects angling for an opportunity. Technological advancements, such as the Hudl program used on nearly every level of football, have made it easier to sell oneself to an FBS or FCS program. Yet for school or player alike, there was no replacing the in-person audition.

There’s also a dollars-and-cents issue. Official visits are paid for by the host university, but can only be held during the regular season. At any other point, recruits must pay their own way to visit a university — demanding not only time but money, particularly if the trip includes family members.

Satellite camps brought recruiting to a local level, allowing recruits in a certain region — as with California prospects and Boise State last summer — similar access to coaches and instruction at a fraction of the cost. Based on what they saw at their camps, Boise State coaches estimated that six or seven recruits would be extended scholarship offers.

There’s the paradox of the satellite-camp ban: While it aids the SEC, keeping interlopers out of its recruiting backyard, the new legislation comes at a substantial cost to a wide swath of the FBS — and to the majority of potential student-athletes, many of whom leaned on the access provided by these camps to raise their own recruiting profile.

Seem fair? It’s not. Aimed a closing a loophole, the NCAA ban has instead slammed the door on the individuals it is designed to represent.”

I’m detecting a common theme here.  Then there’s this, too.

This was Alleva last spring to 104.5 FM ESPN in Baton Rouge: “Mainly what I’m concerned about is other schools coming into our state and stealing our kids.”

“Our” kids, eh?  I didn’t realize all Louisiana high schoolers belong to LSU.  Must be a real bitch for the other in state schools.

“We had Georgia State, West Georgia, Kennesaw State, Georgia Southern, and App State all lined up to come to our camp with Ohio State,” Central (Georgia) Gwinnett coach Todd Wofford said. “They loved and wanted that chance to evaluate that many kids that they wouldn’t have had a change to otherwise. I think people forget all about them with this decision. They don’t have the budget of major universities and we will see opportunities lost because of this decision.

“This decision impacts so many players on so many different levels. The high school recruit is the big loser today.”

And the big winner?  Well, start here…

“This happened because the SEC coaches are mad at Jim Harbaugh,” said one non-Power Five head coach. “That’s all. It’s a (expletive) joke. Think about all the kids who could’ve ended up getting MAC scholarships because they got seen by someone who probably would never have saw them before. That’s who you’re really hurting. What about those kids? It’s going to force these kids to spend more money. All you’re doing is providing more exposure.”

…  add to it the three other P5 conferences that voted with the SEC to end the practice.  And don’t forget to throw a little shit Harbaugh’s way for grandstanding about a practice that had gone on quietly and usefully for a number of years.

Nice, guys.  Give yourselves a collective pat on the back.




Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Recruiting, The NCAA

42 responses to “The NCAA, helping the rich get richer since 1906

  1. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    “And don’t forget to throw a little shit Harbaugh’s way for grandstanding about a practice that had gone on quietly and usefully for a number of years.”
    I wasn’t all that aware of it happening for a number of years, but I am not a recruitnik, either. More and more, Jim Harbaugh seems like a kid that will take a stick and break up a dry dog turd just to smell the moist inside again.

    I thought the main thing was Sumlin’s comment in the USA Today link: The rule needed to be the same for everyone. If the NCAA is going to allow it, then the SEC and the ACC need to do it also. And CKS’ comments about having a plan suggest to me that he was ready either way.

    Maybe it’s too bad it fell the way it did, but I do think rules should apply to everyone equally.


  2. 69Dawg

    Well at least the media has something else to whine about this week. So much for the FOIA’s news cycle. The SEC does not control the NCAA so blaming them totally for what happened is a little disingenuous. I guess the press thinks the SEC should not complain about these damn carpetbaggers. Get the hell off my lawn.


  3. Skeptic Dawg

    Senator, I could be incorrect in my assessment here and if so I apologize before hand. However, it seemed that you were completely against the idea of satellite camps and/or traveling spring practice for a variety of reasons until now. Yet today we see a change of course now that the NCAA ruling appears to hurt the kids. Michagin had a great idea until the SEC coaches started bitching. Now, that’s go like a fart in the wind and you find fault with the NCAA. As you yourself have mentioned to me a time or two, I guess everything looks like a nail when you are a hammer.


    • Eh, I tend to see this as more a giant pissing match than anything else. I really don’t think Harbaugh’s showmanship was a grave threat; the SEC’s overreacted.

      Let’s not forget that what the NCAA has just done is to overturn the status quo for every conference but two. Maybe you can explain why it was necessary, as there sure seem to be a lot of folks who don’t.


      • Ant123

        This wasn’t really the status quo was it? I mean it had only really been done the last couple of years it seems. It seems they protected the status quo that has existed for decades.


      • Skeptic Dawg

        It is necessary for the vast majority of schools to spread their brand and to get looks at kids they otherwise would not see. And by necessary I mean to attempt to keep with the success of Bama and a few other SEC/southern schools. The gap is widening between the elite programs and the want-a-be elites due to money, recognition and success in recruiting…that divide is not narrowing anytime soon. Great programs do not last forever, but for the here and now lesser programs have to do all that they can to compete with the top programs…if not they continue to fall further and further behind. Yes, the SEC overreacted and looked foolish. This ruling only hurts the kids. Stupid move by the NCAA.


  4. Dog in Fla

    “Nice, guys. Give yourselves a collective pat on the back.”

    To be fair, these are P5 ADs and football coaches (many of whom have had their bell rung repeatedly, i.e., second-impact syndrome from multiple concussions), not Manhattan Project scientists


  5. Debby Balcer

    The camps were held in places kids already had opportunities to attend camps at. Gwinnett County is in Atlanta those kids have the oppotunity to go to camp. The spring game was held at IMG. Their responses are disengious only looking to paint the SEC as antiplayer.


  6. Bright Idea

    This exposure for kids business is all because coaches now are offering 8th and 9th graders who have only been evaluated in their underwear at 7 on 7 tournaments and camps. Coaches prefer that, preferably on their own campuses, to going to real HS games in the fall or analyzing video of a kid playing in a game. I don’t believe any kid will be too poor to find exposure. They’ve been somehow finding their way to camps and 7 on 7s for years now, usually at the expense of their high school programs and booster clubs. No, most kids from south Ga. won’t find a way to Michigan or Ohio State short of an official visit.


  7. South FL Dawg

    You would think these coaches don’t get to sign as many players with the way they’re whining.

    I was in favor of satellite camps but I saw it as a redistribution of scholarships. More of the scholarships would go to players whose families couldn’t afford for them to travel. Also, more of the scholarships would go to players in Florida (where I live) and Georgia (home state).

    It’s a shame how it turned out but not because less kids get a chance; it’s just which kids get it.


  8. TimberRidgeDawg

    So I take it unless Ohio State and Michigan run a camp in Gwinnett County, the poor kids in the deep south will never be seen by any of the local colleges? West Georgia, KSU, and the rest of the great unwashed never have their own camps or attend the million and one 7on7, Rivals, Nike events that are happening every weekend in Georgia and across the southeast. Thank god for the benevolent spirit of Jim Harbaugh looking out for the underprivileged at the IMG Academy because for sure those kids never get any visibility in Bradenton.

    This is about the biggest load of insincere BS I’ve ever heard. There isn’t one kid in this state that won’t get an offer to West Georgia because Michigan couldn’t have a camp. We have more open camps and on campus days in the southeast that probably anywhere so the kids that want to be seen have plenty of shots. This was only about Harbaugh making an ill mannered ass of himself and ruining it for everybody and in all honestly nothing has really been ruined for kids here.


    • … and in all honestly nothing has really been ruined for kids here.

      There appear to be a lot of high school coaches who disagree with you.


      • Ant123

        I think the notoriety and in some cases the money that goes with it are a lot of the reasons why. That and maybe they see their opportunity for advancing to the college ranks taking a hit.


      • TimberRidgeDawg

        Bunch of them just lost revenue opportunities for hosting these events at their schools. All the colleges are filling out their teams, it’s a zero sum game at the end of the day. Not every kid gets an offer but teams fill out their roster. Some coaches are better at getting their players exposure than others but the opportunities have always been there and will remain for those who put in the effort. There are 4 kids playing on my son’s high school team that are going to play at Ivy League schools next fall. None of those schools had a camp to recruit players in Georgia.

        Until someone shows me why a kid from Tifton or Warner Robbins will get a better look at West Georgia or Georgia Southern by showing up at Michigan camp in Gwinnett County paid with his own dime than through the current local avenues I say it’s BS… I know lots and I mean lots of kids that play or have played at small schools throughout the SE in multiple sports including football. The parents spend weeks and weeks and thousands of dollars and miles on the road going to camps and open sessions across the south. Having Michigan put on a dog and pony show wont’t change that.

        There is no logical reason for Michigan to be down here other than state demographics and to advertise their brand and do some close to outside the lines recruiting of the real local targets that wouldn’t otherwise travel on their own dime up to Ann Arbor. This whole but we’re inviting the little guys because they’ll get a better opportunity excuse is just pandering and subterfuge. This has nothing to do with the good of the kids.

        Look past the whining and understand why the SEC and ACC banned the practice in the first place. Kirby said UGA was prepared to do what it had to do if this opened up. I’m sure that had noting to do with greater opportunities at Kennesaw State.


        • How do you explain the complaining coming from kids, coaches at conferences outside of the ACC and SEC, high school coaches who aren’t putting on these camps, etc. then?

          The parents spend weeks and weeks and thousands of dollars and miles on the road going to camps and open sessions across the south. Having Michigan put on a dog and pony show wont’t change that.

          It’ll change how much time and money they have to spend going to camps if there are more camps coming to their states, won’t it?


          • TimberRidgeDawg

            The outside complaining is very simple. If you’re selling fresh seafood but you don’t have access to an ocean, then you’re at a competitive disadvantage to those who have a dock and fleet in their backyard. The scarcity of resources and cost of obtaining them make competition difficult. The B1G is relatively landlocked away from the talent pools of the South, Texas, and California so they have to come up with innovative ways to overcome the lack of local talent and import it. These camps gave them an excellent branding, evaluation, and recruiting tool that they could export to the masses as a pseudo virtual campus visit which gave them a relatively low cost, high impact way to reach kids in high density talent areas. Whether it would pay off in commits is up for debate but there is no doubting the inspiration of the idea. It was a really great try while it lasted. As for the high school coaches, I’m sure they’d love to have the opportunity to bring a P5 camp to their school if they had opened this thing up. Good for their own careers and selling it to the boosters plus the school probably gets some new goodies out of the deal to boot. If GA had 10 to 15 of these cycling a year, that’s a bunch of money floating around to be grabbed.

            No it won’t change the amount of time and money it takes to get a smaller college kid an offer one iota. The camps are already accessible in the deep south states in abundance but travel expenses aren’t free regardless. Just because Michigan or Ohio St put one on, that doesn’t change the fact you have to pay for the travel and the sheer amount of work it takes to get a ‘tweener an offer doesn’t change. Again, the local colleges that were mentioned at the Gwinnett camp have been accessible to these kids any time they want to kick the tires and any decent high school coach can facilitate an intro.

            As for the other states and more camps, you would have to show me a travel agenda for the Michigan tour of states without much talent. IF this had gone through, there would have been a never ending set of camps in California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia, with offshoots to the other talent pools. Then you could also look forward to the SEC West showing up here on a regular basis. Nobody is going to camp in Arkansas, much less Minnesota. To your point though, it would change the costs if they were going to those states but they aren’t going to those states. They’re going to the states with the talent hotbeds

            I’d be okay with Group of 5 conferences and small schools being able to cluster resources for open camps across the country if that is really the goal here but these P5 schools have never shown to be out for anything other than themselves and looking for any edge they can get. Too much money and too much ambition without any semblance of control or a plan from the NCAA. Better to keep them all in their respective boxes so they have less opportunity for mischief.


            • The outside complaining is very simple. If you’re selling fresh seafood but you don’t have access to an ocean, then you’re at a competitive disadvantage to those who have a dock and fleet in their backyard.

              That doesn’t explain why there are complaints from kids and HS coaches that don’t run camps.

              Again, I think for the most part this is much ado about nothing. Saban has essentially yawned at the whole foofaraw and from his perspective, he’s completely right to do so. But there are plenty of smaller programs lacking Alabama’s resources that don’t see this as a good thing. None of those reside in the SEC, of course.


        • Ant123

          You are absolutely correct.


      • Tim In Sav

        I think what the high school coaches are whining about is that someone won’t be lining their pockets


  9. W Cobb Dawg

    Let’s not forget that for the most part we’re talking about public colleges. These camps are yet another step away from their mission as state schools to benefit state citizens, and a step closer to being nfl-lite.

    I liken the ‘camp issue’ to gtu’s practice of recruiting students from foreign nations. Instead of educating in-state taxpayer’s kids – what SHOULD be their priority, they use our public resources to benefit foreigners.

    I see absolutely nothing wrong with LSU wanting kids to remain in-state. Isn’t that what the f#%king school was established for in the first place?


    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      I don’t think I would compare Tech’s recruitment of people from ‘foreign nations’ for academic reasons with football recruiting. If Tech could only recruit kids for the academic programs from Georgia schools they really would be a trade school. I can tell you with certainty that UGA recruits academics students from wherever they can get them. All schools do. Test scores and GPAs is most of the ranking consideration in rating schools; i.e., what quality of student do they attract? The Hope Scholarship has benefited UGA a lot with their in state applicants. It has benefited Tech as well, but because their curriculum is a little more narrow they have to reach a little further more often to keep their profile up.


  10. Ant123

    Most of these arguments are absurd. To read some of these coaches you would think that there is school after school that just can’t find enough kids to give their scholarships to. Which is of course ridiculous and therefore for every kid that benefited by a scholarship from these camps another one have lost his. The real winners in this ruling are the families of the coaches. They will not have to see the father spend even more time away from home.


    • Before the NCAA changed the rule, every conference except the ACC and the SEC permitted satellite camps. Why weren’t coaches from other conferences complaining?


      • Ant123

        Because they saw it as a benefit to their program/conference. Maybe some didn’t like it but didn’t want to speak out.


  11. ASEF

    The D1 Legislative Council has 40 votes. 1 of them – 1 – is an SEC member. All 32 conferences are represented. That means 32 out of the 40 votes belong to schools like Mississippi Valley State, Saint Francis, or UNC-Greensboro. That’s 80%.

    I had no idea Athletic Directors at schools like St. Francis were intimidated by SEC coaches.

    What changed? Harbaugh. He indicated that this was going to be an entirely new front in the recruiting war, and the SEC coaches said, fine, let’s go. When someone steps forward and says, “I’m going to work this loophole like it’s never been worked before,” guess what? Loopholes get closed.

    Frankly, the “this is all the SEC’s fault” seems about as misinformed and stupid as it gets. I understand that familiarity breeds contempt and that we are quite familiar with some of the contemptible figures running athletic operations down here, but come on. Last I heard from Leach, he was ranting about players being more interested in their “fat little girlfriends” than boosting his winning percentage. He doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about the players.

    40 votes – 39 of which are not in the SEC and 32 of which are not connected to a P5 conference – looked at a future of travelling recruiting road shows, imagined their own coaching staffs demanding similar resources, shrugged, and said, “Screw this.”

    The SEC has plenty of things it deserves to be shredded for. This isn’t one of them.


  12. Tommy

    I’d be open to the argument that the big losers here are the kids, except that it’s not as if Michigan et al were racing to set up satellite camps in Maine, Idaho or New Mexico. The only kids who had an opportunity snatched from them were kids in states that were already heavily recruited, e.g., Florida, Texas, Georgia, etc., so it’s not as if rust belt recruiters won’t still find their way down here.


  13. The Bruce

    Exactly right, Tommy. Plus, it seems to me that this argument cuts both ways: every time a northern coach comes south to recruit, doesn’t that reduce the exposure that kids in Ohio and Michigan would get if they ran their camps up there instead? Kids who would have gotten looked at by Western Michigan or Toledo but now don’t have that opportunity? Why should the Southern players get even MORE exposure than they already do, at the expense of kids in other regions? Why should the NCAA be put in the position of picking the winners and losers in recruiting in that way? The whole argument is absurd. Nothing about this was ever designed to benefit the players. It was always about the demographics of recruiting. All these media guys saying otherwise have their head up their ass.


  14. PTC DAWG

    So 4 of the 5 Power Comferences were against this, yet the SEC is the bad guy to the national pundits. They should go pound sand.


  15. DawgPhan

    weird that other conferences voted against their best interest.

    Also weird that some think that this doesnt hurt families.

    They just shifted the financial burden from the schools to the families.

    Before if you had a child that was a looking for a football scholarship and lived in Gwinnett county you could sign up for the central gwinnett camp and get in front of coaches from around the country. Now if you want to get in front of those same coaches you have to travel to them.

    “We had Georgia State, West Georgia, Kennesaw State, Georgia Southern, and App State all lined up to come to our camp with Ohio State,” Central (Georgia) Gwinnett coach Todd Wofford said.

    Think of the time, effort and money involved to travel to just those 5 schools in Georgia.

    Georgia Southern and App state probably both require a hotel room. The others can be day trips, but would consume the entire day.

    A family could easily be $2-3k into seeing those 5 instate schools. That is a lot of money and could essentially be to big of a burden for some families.