This Proposed NCAA Rule Change Could Make Satellite Camps Better

By Bud Elliott | SB Nation


Friday, we discussed the NCAA’s proposal to add two early signing periods. But that was just part of a greater proposal. Another part concerns limiting the number of days schools can put on football camps. Included in that is satellite camps.

The proposals – one for the Football Bowl Subdivision and one for the Football Championship Subdivision – would require schools to choose not more than 10 days for conducting or participating in football camps and clinics. This is a modification in the number of days and the manner that football coaches can participate in camps and clinics. Currently, coaches can participate in camps and clinics during two periods of 15 consecutive days. In the new proposal, the 10 days would not have to be consecutive, providing greater flexibility to attend more events and visit with more students at various locations.

With a refinement in the purpose of the camps to one focused primarily on recruiting rather than instruction, which traditionally has been done in the scholastic environment, the camps must be owned, operated and conducted by NCAA member schools and occur on the school’s campus or in facilities the school primarily uses for practice or competition. Keeping camps and clinics at known facilities will better protect the health and safety of participating students, members said.

If passed, this will limit the exposure for some kids, which would be bad.

But it will also protect parents some in that camps will no longer be run by shady third parties in a spot with no connection to the school. Currently, there are some people getting rich playing on the hopes and dreams of parents who think their child has a shot to attend a school way above his talent level. What happened was a barnstorming tour with hundreds of campers at every stop, and very limited instruction.

Penn State head coach James Franklin agrees with the notion that the reform could help remove some of the shady third parties from the recruiting process.

“I don’t think it should be with third parties, recruiting services or things like that,” Franklin said. “I think it should be on college campuses with college staffs. If you want to go somewhere else and do it, great. But it should be run by colleges. I think we’re asking for trouble with those things.”

It would also help to normalize the quality of setting. Colleges have nice facilities and safe playing surfaces. Random parks and many high schools do not.

But also note that the NCAA now admits that the camps are truly dual-purpose, both instruction and recruiting. Admitting this helps to lessen the NCAA’s burden of enforcing anti-recruiting rules in what are clearly recruiting settings.

If passed, the rule will also help smaller schools who cannot afford to put on months worth of satellite camps.


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