Players May Work Football Camps

Suppose you were a pretty good high school football player who was able to pony up the money to go to a college football summer camp. And when you got there you were treated to a demonstration of the college football team demonstrating different skills...for hours on end under the auspices of the college football team's coaching staff. Far-fetched, of course.

Even with a relaxation of the rules regarding players and coaches in the summertime, there's likely no loophole for real practice. And why would anyone think there would be?

Because of an intriguing article by Pete Roussel of CoachingSearch.com in which he reports that a new NCAA rule will allow college football players to be paid instructors at college football camps.

A first thought is that this could be very, very good for teams like Alabama with the resources to "hire" their players for their hugely successful summer football camps.

The second thought was that this is just another in what likely will be many rounds of the NCAA attempting to save itself with long-overdue legislation benefiting athletes.

Although the report dealt only with football, Alabama and other colleges have summer camps in every sport.

Roussel's article was understandably short on details because, as he pointed out, "the NCAA has yet to inform institutions about the payment policies." He did say that one aspect of the new policy is that a college may not advertise that a star player will be a part of the camp staff.

Now there's a stiff rule. Rest assured, NCAA, that if Florida State has Jameis Winston working with the camp quarterbacks that every one of those high school players will know that the Heisman Trophy winner will be teaching them.

NCAA guidelines on players having summer employment have mandated that players cannot earn more than what any other employee would earn for doing the same job. Generally speaking, in addition to the college football staff, summer camp instructors have come from the high school ranks. The Roussel article said those coaches are paid either hourly or by the camp session.

If Alabama has been generous with its pay to those coaches – and that is very likely the case – then Bama players may be in for a nice payday as instructors in the camp.

Will Nick Saban figure out the best way to make this a plus as a recruiting tool and/or extra instruction for his current players?

There are dozens of questions that may be answered in coming weeks. Are the high school coaches who have been working these camps going to be retained, and if not will they resent the colleges that cut them? Will teams select just their stars as instructors? Is there a limit on the number of players who can be hired for camp duty? Will instructors tell the campers the story about the ghosts that haunt the camp dorm and teach them ‘Kumbaya'?


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