Yes, I know that Jim Harbaugh can be a self-aggrandizing arse, but the NCAA’s fixation on satellite camps is bordering on farcical.
According to CoachingSearch.com, during a camp hosted by USF, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said the NCAA told him to stop taking pictures with and signing autographs for campers, parents and fans…
The coach I heard from last week thought there was a bit more to it than that. That picture of Harbaugh above with a four-star O-line prospect and his mom seemed rather ordinary, but the assistant coach pointed out the attire of the recruit, which appeared to indicate that the player didn’t actually take part in the camp and never registered. The upshot: “We can’t have contact with the kids and their parents,” the coach said. “It’s an illegal contact.”
The coach said this is why so many coaches thought Saban raised a lot of good points about the spread of satellite camps and how many unwieldy issues it’s going to add in the recruiting process. That they’re more about schmoozing and recruiting than instruction.
Now I get all that, but how is it any different than the absurdity of the Saban Rule – you know, the one supposedly prohibiting purposefully bumping into recruits during high school visits that is routinely breached?
Look at what the NCAA is devoting resources to these days.
Later, Harbaugh interrupted an ESPN.com interview with his son, tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh, because he had just heard that the NCAA wasn’t allowing interviews with the media during camps. That changed within the two-hour practice, and he addressed reporters after the first session.
“I believe we can do interviews,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what we’ve been told. You were there, you saw what’s going on with the changing daily rules. It’s very interesting. It’s very interesting. The NCAA compliance people are here. They’ve been at every single one. The NCAA has sent at least one or two of their people to each of our camps and we’ve had one of our compliance people at each one of these camps. That notion that there’s not oversight of these camps — you’ve seen it with your own eyes, there absolutely is.
Freaking satellite camps, this year’s most overblown, over-covered college football subject. Again, I get that it’s Harbaugh and the “we’re going to fight for the youngsters and the student-athletes and their families and for the game of football itself” he tosses out in defense of his crusade is complete garbage, but, seriously, I only wish the NCAA paid this much constant attention to, say, academic fraud.
A pox on ’em both, I say.