Category Archives: Recruiting

Sankey’s gonna Sankey.

Oh, puh-leeze.

The SEC reacted to Thursday’s news by releasing a statement in which commissioner Greg Sankey both re-affirmed the conference’s position and the fact that its schools would now be free to join in the satellite camps.

“While we are disappointed with the NCAA governance process result, we respect the Board of Directors’ decision and are confident SEC football programs will continue to be highly effective in their recruiting efforts,” Sankey said. “We continue to believe football recruiting is primarily an activity best-focused in high schools during the established recruiting calendar, which has provided opportunities for football prospective student-athletes from all across the country to obtain broad national access and exposure but with appropriate guidance from high school coaches, teachers and advisors that focuses on both their academic and athletic opportunities as they decide where they will play college football.

“SEC coaches will be allowed to engage in summer camps as a result of Conference legislation approved during the 2015 SEC Spring Meetings.”

If you really believe your approach to satellite camps is best for all concerned, then why lift the ban?

That was a rhetorical question, in case you’re wondering.

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Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Recruiting, SEC Football

Chaos!

Department of Justice 1, SEC 0.

Guess Kirby’d better get his satellite camp plans dusted off.  You know Bert’s raring to go.

Oh, and I hope Hugh Freeze posts his teary farewell to his family as he hits the road to do his job.  Oh, the humanity!

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UPDATE:  The SEC prepares to unleash itself upon an unsuspecting world.

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UPDATE #2:  Of course…

I’d love to hear somebody in the media ask Greg Sankey about that.

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

“One thing they can’t teach him to be is 6-7 and 340.”

I’ll say it again:  one thing I love about Smart’s new approach at Georgia is how aggressive he is about beefing up the walk-on program.

Smart is targeting the best available players in the state not only to bring on board on scholarship but to get the best ones remaining as walk-ons.

“I’ve always thought Georgia should have the best walk-on program in the country,” he said. “Why not? You’ve got the HOPE (scholarship). You’ve got great high school football. Every kid in the state dreams of coming to Georgia. So why shouldn’t you have the best walk-on program in the country? Because a lot of those kids develop to be special teams players, to be starters.”

Can’t argue with that one bit.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Six degrees of Bert

It turns out that the idea of aggressively pursuing satellite camping didn’t spring unbidden from the mind of Jim Harbaugh like some sort of college football Athena.  Nah, there was a lot of begettin’ before he got started.

No one voting on the ban apparently thought of the potential consequences for recruits if Group of Five coaches weren’t allowed to work Power 5 camps—something both groups want—so it would not be the least bit shocking if the ban gets tossed. The leagues that want a ban would then be asked to go back and write a more carefully worded rule.

If that happens, the coaches who were planning satellite camps will probably reinstate those plans. That includes Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, who planned to have coaches work camps at Florida International, Rutgers and a few other schools. The Razorbacks also had preliminary plans to hold a camp at Cowboys Stadium. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is an Arkansas alumnus. “I was shocked by [the ruling] the other day,” Bielema told Jack Arute and me Friday on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation. “We were ready to rock ‘n’ roll. I was kind of in favor of them.”

Bielema also provided a little backstory for how the satellite camp issue has evolved. If you’ve been reading this space, you already know the first Power 5 staff to think of teaming with a lower-level school in a recruit-rich state was Oklahoma State’s, which partnered with Division III power Mary Hardin-Baylor to work camps in Texas. It was Bielema who took brochures from those camps to the SEC’s spring meetings in Destin, Fla., a few years ago to let conference coaches know about the practice. (Given Arkansas’s location, Bielema’s intent was likely to convince the SEC to change its rule so Razorbacks coaches could fan out.) At the time, James Franklin was the coach at Vanderbilt. The next year, he had moved to Penn State. Franklin’s Nittany Lions staff began working camps in Georgia and Florida. When Jim Harbaugh arrived at Michigan, he saw what the Penn State coaches were doing and decided to build on it.

And here we are.

Yep.

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Filed under Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

You’ve got your change and I’ve got mine.

Energy is nice

The change has also brought enthusiasm, with some players have stating how it could benefit the program in the long term.

“It’s a different atmosphere, a different energy,” outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter said. “I love Coach Richt. But it’s just different. You can tell.”

Carter likened it to changing seats in a classroom. There’s a new view and a new feel. Richt should certainly be proud of what he accomplished in 15 seasons. But Georgia let him go because of where his ceiling stood after his duration in Athens.

Coming out of the spring, you could sense not only the excitement in the fan base, evidenced by 93,000 fans out for the G-Day spring game, but by the players in how they felt about the direction of the program.

Safety Quincy Mauger agreed that G-Day put forth a statement as to what direction this program is headed.

“There is a lot of energy that Kirby has definitely brought to the table, along with all of the coaches and the leaders on this team,” Mauger said.

… but cut through the fluff and dial up this interview to about the 2:25 mark to get where the real change will come.  Emphasis on building depth on both lines is music to my ears.  Let’s hope he pulls that off with another year or two of recruiting.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

This is what you get when you mix Jim Harbaugh and the NCAA together.

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.

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

“Today, delivering the eulogy is Jim Harbaugh.”

The decency barriers keep coming down.

Best of all, with unlimited texting, it’s easy to multitask at someone’s funeral!

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA