In a move that will definitely benefit Nebraska, the NCAA has voted to allow football coaches to attend satellite camps in the summer of 2016.
In a highly anticipated decision, the NCAA Board of directors has voted to allow college football coaches to attend satellite camps in the spring and summer of 2016 while the rule is being looked at. In a statement, NCAA Board of Directors chair Harris Pastides said, “The Board of Directors is interested in a holistic review of the football recruiting environment, and camps are a piece of that puzzle.” The NCAA will take the time to reevaluate the recruiting cycle and how camps and clinics fit into the sport.
Scout's National Director of Recruiting Brandon Huffman agreed with today's ruling. “It’s a wise move by the NCAA. You can say it’s a good decision, but essentially, it’s just correcting a bad decision that was made early on, one that was short-sighted.”
Huffman added: “Several recruits I’ve talked to, both in the 2017 and 2018 classes, plus players that signed in February, were relieved to see the ban lifted. This had really thrown a wrench into the plans of the recruits who had hoped to use the satellite camps to maximize their exposure with limited resources. Now, they still have the chance to perform in front of coaches. This really helps those that don’t have unlimited resources to travel plus those prospects who live in hard-to-find places, giving them a chance to workout in one central location for a particular staff or a number of staffs, depending on the venue. But it’s a win and the student-athlete benefits greatly, which is what should have been the focus from the get-go."
In early April, the NCAA Rules committee voted to place a ban on coaches traveling to off campus camps. The move was heavily criticized by recruits and certain college coaches. A vocal proponent of satellite camps, Jim Harbaugh didn't hold back his feelings on the ban. "It seems to be outrage by the SEC and ACC," he told Sports Illustrated at the time. "They power-brokered that out ... The image that comes to my mind is guys in a back room smoking cigars, doing what they perceive is best for them. It certainly isn't the best thing for the youngsters. It's not the best thing for the student-athletes."
In a statement, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey voiced his displeasure with today's decision: “We continue to believe football recruiting is primarily an activity best-focused in high schools during the established recruiting calendar, which has provided opportunities for football prospective student-athletes from all across the country to obtain broad national access and exposure, but with appropriate guidance from high school coaches, teachers and advisors that focuses on both their academic and athletic opportunities as they decide where they will play college football"
While satellite camps are back on for 2016, this issue will continue to play out into next season.