ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The NCAA’s rule change limiting former or current professional players, coaches and even high school coaches from participating in college football camp activities was on full display at Michigan's Aerial Assault quarterbacks camp and Super Skills position camp on Saturday.
No more could Jay Cutler, Denard Robinson or a local high school coach out of Detroit help with the camp, instead Michigan limited its camp coaching staff to current U-M players, coaches and guest college coaches.
Why? Because if any high school coach proofed connected with a prospect that Michigan is recruiting, then that particular player would be deemed ineligible to play their first two years of eligibility by the NCAA.
And, well, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh didn't hide his thoughts when asked about the rule change.
“I think it’s silly and ridiculous," Harbaugh said. "It’s been that way for 50 years that high school coaches can work camps and coaches can go work camps at high schools. It’s always been that way. So this is a drastic change.”
Of course, Harbaugh says U-M has submitted the NCAA to change the rule, too.
“We suggest that we change back the other way,” Harbaugh said. “But as we said, sometimes the pendulum has to swing. Sometime it swings that way and sometimes it swings back the other way. Hopefully common sense brings it back to where it was.”
Right now, however, the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction of Harbaugh.
“We believe that pendulum can swing back as often times do that are rules,” Harbaugh said of NCAA’s decision. “Used to be able to text, then you couldn’t text, now you can text again. Sometimes that pendulum swings back and forth.
“Yes, for this camp we didn’t use any high school coaches, employ them, if we were going to employ a high school coach then anybody they might have coached before that’s already here would be ineligible. Anyone we would potentially recruit from their high school that’s a junior or senior, we could recruit them or they would ineligible by the time they got (to Michigan). That’s the landscape right now.”
So Michigan didn’t use professional players either, Harbaugh explained.
“Even with the pro guys, the pro players, you have to do a complete background search on who they that’s already on our team or that we could be recruiting,” Harbaugh said. “So we stayed away, just college coaches and our players this year.”