Hugh Freeze runs smack dab into the law of unintended consequences:
When Hugh Freeze coached at tiny Lambuth University, he sent coaches to work camps at bigger schools. He did the same when he coached at Arkansas State. In the camps Freeze has run since becoming the head coach at Ole Miss, he has stood before hundreds of campers and reminded them that while only a few of them will be recruited by the Rebels, all should work hard because coaches from Arkansas State, South Alabama and elsewhere would also be working with campers. Those schools, Freeze would remind the campers, also offer scholarships.
Monday morning, Freeze’s phone rang. On the other end was a coach wondering if he was no longer allowed to work the Ole Miss camp. The coach worked at an FBS school, and Freeze realized that coach would be banned by a rule passed Friday. The SEC—Ole Miss’s league—and ACC had spearheaded an effort to ban satellite camps. Since such camps were created by coaches from one college working a camp at a host high school or college in a recruit-rich area, the rule banned any FBS coach from working a camp that wasn’t on his own campus. The NCAA Division I management council voted, and the ban is effective immediately. Freeze realized quickly that the ban had a serious consequence he hadn’t considered. In keeping Michigan coaches from working camps at high schools in Alabama, Florida and Georgia and Oklahoma State coaches from working camps at a Division III school in Texas, the schools also had banned Bowling Green coaches from working Ohio State’s camp and Arkansas State coaches from working the Ole Miss camp…
It says something about the ham-fisted construction of this rule that one of the coaches from one of the leagues that championed it is already expressing regrets. Freeze wants to find a way to change the rule so coaches from Group of Five schools can still work camps in conjunction with Power Five schools. “I would love to continue that,” Freeze said Monday. “I just don’t want satellite camps for the Power Five. I am for non-Power Five schools being able to attend and evaluate.” Freeze agrees with the intention of the rule—just not the unintended consequences. He does not think his coaches should be able to work a camp in Houston, smack in the middle of Texas A&M’s recruiting territory. He does, however, think South Alabama coaches should be allowed to work the Ole Miss camp.
C’mon, Hugh, don’t those coaches have families, too?
This stuff makes me want to laugh… until I listen to what Greg Sankey lets come out of his mouth.
Sankey said this topic has been a concern long before Jim Harbaugh brought his Michigan camps to places like Prattville, Ala. What he called “recruiting tour events” first pinged the SEC radar back in 2011.
Sankey also downplayed the idea this legislation limited the opportunity of athletes to discovered by college coaches. He pointed to the ever-increasing staff positions within programs related to identifying and recruiting prospects.
Sure thing, Greg. Lambuth University is positively crawling with support staffers, just like Alabama.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who planned satellite camps for this year, came out in opposition to the new rule. He told Cleveland.com that “probably hundreds of scholarships” were tied to these events. It’s not about the big schools, he said, but smaller programs like MAC schools who benefitted.
Sankey doesn’t agree. These satellite campers were a trend, he said, that would only fall further down the rabbit hole with larger concerns arising in the future.
“In fact, if you look at what may have happened, it would have not remained constant had the council not acted,” Sankey said. “We would have had dozens and dozens of events, particularly in large metropolitan areas and there would have been pressure on young people to attend those events.”
Oh, no. Not that. If anyone is going to pressure those young people, it’ll be SEC coaches, or nobody at all.
And the commissioner was just getting warmed up on his favorite topic of helping the young people.
Rather than the notion that things have been taken away, rather than continue to migrate football recruiting away from the scholastic environment” and recruiting calendar, “I think the council action is entire appropriate and consistent” with the council. If there is talk about extending recruiting calculator, that should come up, but “let’s not go” way of other sports and get away from scholastic setting…
You mean like mid-week night road basketball games? Or bowl practices during exam period?
Oh, wait… you mean like this.
Sankey is asked about programs limiting players from transferring to certain programs. “I am concerned about the current transfer structure.” Believes there’s a lot of national concern about it.
Concerns about transfer structure: “We have to have an intentional conversation about the variances that exist in sport.” “We need to talk about the academic impact of transferring.” Also: “The ability to have too much or the appropriate or sufficient level of oversight is the one that seems to be the lightning rod.”
I have to give Sankey credit for one thing. He’s much more fluent in bullshit than Mike Slive ever was.