NCAA bylaws state that college football programs must hold recruiting either on their campus, inside their state or within a 50-mile radius of campus. However, some conferences such as the Big Ten have found a loophole that allows coaches to “guest host” at other school’s camps.
This can be a valuable tool for college coaches on the recruiting tour and can help them ‘steal’ recruits from local schools. Conferences like the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference prevents this loophole from being used and thus the controversy begins.
Starting last summer and continuing this coming summer, Penn State will be setting up camp in SEC territory. Last year they worked their satellite camps in Atlanta and central Florida, he back yard of both ACC and SEC schools such as Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Florida, and Florida State. This year Penn State will work in Charlotte, N.C. and Norfolk, Va, in the same recruiting territory of seven ACC and SEC programs.
Other Big Ten teams are following Penn State over the Mason-Dixon line, as Jim Harbaugh will be taking Michigan to Alabama, Florida and Texas. Ohio State and former SEC coach Urban Meyer stated, “I think that should be outlawed,” but not long after said “If it helps us, we’ll do it. And I think we might try one this year.”
According to AL.com, in a statement on Tuesday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban addressed the satellite camps that the SEC bans. “I certainly think that we need to address this if it’s going to be a competitive disadvantage and other people are going to have these kind of camps,” he goes on to say, “I think it’s something that we’ll probably address as a conference, and I think it’s something we ought to look at from an NCAA standpoint because I think it’s best to have a rule where people come to your campus, they can come to your camp.”
Outgoing SEC commissioner Mike Slive voiced his opinion as well joking that “We’re going to have a camp at Penn State.”
SEC officials have voiced concerns about this issue and intend to voice them to the NCAA Division I Leadership Council Football Recruiting Subcommittee.
Photo: VASHA HUNT Associated Press
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