Georgia Football Braces For Satellite Football Camp Invasion


Georgia Football is under attack. Seeking football talent, Big Ten and Big Twelve schools are marching on the SEC and ACC homeland to woo young men with the satellite football camp loophole.

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Southern Football is bracing for invasion. The number of Northern college football programs planning satellite football camps for this summer continues to grow. Most recently, Purdue announced a coaching deployment to Nashville.

“It’s a good area for us,” Hazell told of the Mike Carmin and reported in the Indy Star. “We think that’s a hotbed of talent down there.”

So there you have it. Satellite camps are all about recruiting and SEC and ACC coaches are taking up arms.

“If we’re all going to travel all over the country to have satellite camps, how ridiculous is that?” said Nick Saban and reported Marq Burnett of the,. “I mean, we’re not even allowed to go to All-star games. But now we’re going to have satellite camps all over the country? So it doesn’t really make sense.”

Ignoring the snickers as Nick Saban worries over competitive advantage, there is obviously some incongruence among NCAA rules. But does anyone believe Nick Saban or any other coach is not seeking and using loopholes in NCAA regulations?

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Since the distribution of the first mimeographed NCAA memo, coaches and schools have used loopholes. Recently, texting/messaging/tweeting opened an enormous can of regulatory worms that coaches have been using to gain an edge. And the most famous loophole of all, the “championship game” loophole , allowed the SEC to expand to twelve teams and organize a playoff, changing college football forever.

James Franklin is credited with pioneering the satellite camp strategy after taking command at Penn State. Having arrived in Happy Valley from Vanderbilt where he battled SEC recruiting juggernauts, Franklin understands the value of access to recruits and he found and employed the satellite camp loophole. The loophole allows college coaches to “guest coach” at other football camps more than 50 miles from campus. By partnering with another school – even a high school – a college staffs can be “guests” and gain access to recruits.

Good for Franklin. Now, Michigan’s Jim Harbough is using the satellite camp loophole to lead a southern invasion that so far includes legions of coaches from Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Nebraska.

Mark Richt notes the practice of satellite camping may force the SEC’s hand. “It could become more of an issue,” reported Seth Emereson of the Telegraph “For us as a league, we’ve decided, we’ve chosen not to do it. If everybody else is doing it, and it’s hurting us in recruiting, then I’m sure we’ll change our SEC policy.

There is no grander war in college athletics than the fight for football recruits and the South is mobilizing. The SEC and ACC, which specifically bans coaches from working as guest coaches, have pushed the issue to the top of the NCAA rules committee to-do list. But the Big Ten and Big Twelve may escalate the conflict with their own requests for rule changes, including an adoption of an early signing period and regulation of over-signing.

With greater control of NCAA rules now in the hands of the large Division 1 conferences, the summer camp battle is likely only the first of many skirmishes between southern conferences with fertile home recruiting lands and midwest conferences languishing in talent poor lands.

After all, as Lewis Grizzard famously noted, “It is not just a game. It’s our way of life against theirs.”

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