Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more to be said about the NCAA’s ban on satellite camps comes the news that two conference reps on the D1 Council voted against the wishes of their conferences. The Pac-12 vote was evidently so egregious that Larry Scott criticized it.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Wednesday night that the league’s representative on the Council, UCLA athletics director Dan Guerrero, “Did not vote the way he was supposed to vote.”
Scott said 11 of the conference’s 12 member schools favored the existence of satellite camps. When asked which school did not, he said, “I’m not gonna say. Form your own conclusion.”
When a reporter replied, “You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes on that one,” Scott said, “I can’t blow anything by you.”
UCLA officials did not reply to a request for comment from Guerrero. Council representatives are not required to vote to the exact wishes of their conference membership.
Scott said the Pac-12’s voting guidelines call for a “directed vote” in the case of a clear position by conference members. He said while the members favor comprehensive study of football recruiting, “in the meantime we preferred the status quo (in satellite camps), which for us allows coaches to attend camps in other markets.”
“He didn’t follow what was supposed to be a directed vote,” Scott said.
Guerrero’s response? Um, well…
However, in an April 13 email obtained by FOX Sports later Wednesday night, Guerrero indicates he was trying to protect the conference from being at a competitive disadvantage if the SEC proposal passed, so instead he voted to approve the ACC’s proposal (2015-59), which came up first.
At issue for Guerrero with the SEC proposal: other programs would be permitted to hold camps within 50 miles while the Pac-12 would be prevented from doing that by their own conference rule, keeping institutional camps on campus.
“Prior to these meetings, I had extensive conversations with Pac-12 representatives in regard to the Conference’s position on a number of legislative proposals — the ‘satellite camp’ proposals included,” Guerrero wrote to his Pac-12 colleagues. “With an 0–11–1 vote cast by the Pac-12 Council, a vote to oppose [both] proposals was the charge with the ultimate goal to refer the legislation [back] to the Football Oversight Committee (FOC).
“Going into the meetings, it was the feeling of many members of the D1 Council that these proposals would be tabled at the request of the FOC, thereby rendering both of these proposals moot, and keeping the current rule relative to ‘satellite camps’ unchanged. In fact this was the preferred outcome by our Conference as indicated in the preparatory materials I received prior to the meeting.
“When this did not happen … I made the call to support [the ACC’s version], which was the preference of the two options.”
Andy Staples translates the gobbledygook.
Guerrero climbed from beneath the bus under which Scott threw him Wednesday and told SI.com that he went to the meeting with the intention of voting against the ban—if it even came to a vote. Guerrero had expected the Football Oversight Committee to table the satellite camp discussion, but a one-vote margin moved it to the council for action. And when it became apparent from the discussions in the meeting that the Big 12, Sun Belt and Mountain West would join the ACC and SEC in voting for the ban, Guerrero had to make a call because the Pac-12’s “no” vote would not change the outcome. This is common in the NCAA’s version of representative democracy. Occasionally leagues will direct a representative to vote a certain way no matter what.
In other cases, the representative will be given latitude to assess the situation and cast the vote that either helps the league the most or damages the league the least. It appears this was one such situation for Guerrero. There were two proposals before the council. Proposal 2015–59, from the ACC, was the one that ultimately passed. It banned FBS coaches from hosting or working camps off their own campuses. Proposal 2015–60, from the SEC, was modeled on the SEC’s rule that banned coaches from working camps more than 50 miles from campus. Because the Pac-12 has a rule that bans coaches from hosting—but not from working—camps off their own campuses, Guerrero voted for 59 to block 60.
“My assessment was that one of the two was going to pass, and we didn’t know which one,” Guerrero said. “I had to vote for 59 because if that failed and 60 passed, Pac-12 schools would have been at a disadvantage.”
What he means is that other schools would have been allowed to hold camps within 50 miles while Pac-12 schools would be banned by their own rule from doing that. Whether closing that particular potential loophole is worth all the grief Guerrero has received since casting that vote is another question. But it is clear Guerrero did not expect the issue to come to a vote…
To put it even more succinctly, Guerrero didn’t have a fucking clue what he was doing.
Not that he was alone.
Sun Belt NCAA Council rep Larry Ties, the athletic director at Texas State, cast his vote against satellite camps despite a “majority” of conference officials supporting it, according to commissioner Karl Benson.
All of this is allowed by the NCAA legislative process. Council members are expected to consider input from around the conference before making their own decisions.
“The majority of Sun Belt membership did support the camps,” Benson said. “It wasn’t unanimous, but Larry Ties based [his vote] on dialogue. He made a decision based on the best interests of college football.”
“There are conferences that do a crap job of prepping their people,” countered one FBS official.
Now there’s your understatement of the day.
You can probably guess the punchline that’s coming here.
Because Power Five conference votes count double, the result of the vote was 10–5 for the ban. Had Guerrero and Teis voted in accordance with the wishes of the majority of their respective conferences’ schools, the result would have been 8–7 against the ban.
If the NCAA ever decides to adopt a theme song, it ought to be “Yakety Sax“.
Staples believes the vote will likely be revisited by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors when it meets on April 28. Eh, maybe. As he goes on to note, “(t)he board typically rubber-stamps the council’s votes, but in this case it could overturn the result and demand the issue be discussed more thoroughly before a rule is enacted.” If that’s where things go, it won’t be without a fight.
And you’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that Greg Sankey is disappointed.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, whose conference is widely considered to have led the charge against satellite camps, fired back at critics of the legislation to reporters here Wednesday.
“What’s caught me by surprise is the notion that there’s a lot of name-calling and finger-pointing,” he said. “It’s not a healthy byproduct of the legislative process.”
In the land of the morons, the half-assed man is king.