OPINION: NCAA gets it right with satellite camps

Eric Miller | Online Sports Editor


For the first time in a blue moon it seems the NCAA has done something reasonable. In a decision made on April 28, the NCAA’s Board of Directors lifted a ban on off site, “satellite,”  football camps.

The ban was instituted on April 8 but was quickly rescinded after backlash from college coaches and players alike. Satellite camps provide schools the chance to hold camps away from their respective facilities and go to recruits. Instead of travelling two and a half hours to Athens for Ohio University’s camp, Cincinnati area prospects can instead show up at Mason’s Dwire Field to be evaluated by top programs from across the midwest at OU’s satellite camp. Satellite camps save recruits time, money and offer an opportunity for under-the-radar recruits to make an impression on college coaches.

It might seem absurd to the average college football fan as to why satellite camps were banned in the first place. As with most policies in top tier college football; this one revolved around the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The SEC, with its 14 schools located south of the Mason-Dixon line, gets first shot at recruiting players in the talent laden southern U.S. Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh then had the audacity to try and recruit southern states. Harbaugh held camps in states like Georgia and Alabama which ruffled the feathers of Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban. So on April 8 the NCAA made the move to ban satellite camps. The move in theory would hurt the Big 10 but in the end, it was realised that nearly every key player in the college football world would be negatively affected by the ban. Mid-major schools, who guest coach at satellite camps would lose out on valuable recruits. High school players looking to play at the next level, would lose valuable exposure opportunities and would now have to shell out big money to make it to on-campus camps. In the end, the NCAA made the right decision, for once.