Oklahoma Sooners support NCAA decision but see the disadvantage to future student-athletes

The NCAA ruled Friday to prohibit all satellite camps, effective immediately.

NORMAN – The NCAA ruled Friday to immediately shut down satellite camps across the country, ruling that FBS programs must conduct all clinics at on-campus facilities.

Oklahoma has held camps at off-campus sites in Dallas and Houston regularly but has kept to just those two sites. Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he supported the decision made by “our leaders.”

“Whatever is best for everybody, it’s OK,” Stoops said. “I think we’ve had good use of the ones we’ve had and taken advantage of it. I don’t know that it will affect us that much overall.

“. . . We may then add another couple days at our campus in the summer in June or maybe later at the end of the summer before we start back. We’ll look at it.”

Most schools held satellite camps in its own highly recruited areas, like major cities in Texas for Oklahoma, but recently, Michigan held camps in southern hotbeds – far out of the Wolverines traditional recruiting territory. Prior to the ruling Friday, the ACC and the SEC had both rules that their coaches couldn’t hold camps more than 50 miles from campus.

The Big 12 Conference voted in favor of prohibiting satellite camps, according to Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione. The Big Ten Conference was the only Power 5 league in favor of keeping satellite camps.

Castiglione said it hurts prospective student-athletes, and he hopes the restriction on satellite camps can be evolved.

“We have other things that let’s not be totally naïve about,” Castiglione said. “There are other things going on. But the ones that get hurt are the ones that have no way to fight it. That’s the ones you feel sorry for. They can get exposure from a big coach coming through. Maybe it doesn’t turn into a scholarship, but it gives them the chance to display something in front of that coach.

“. . . I just hope that wiser minds will get a chance to come back together and figure out a way we can regulate an off-campus opportunity and not let it evolve into something that is one school trying to one up the other just because of a recruiting ploy. The bottom line is common sense.”

Stoops said that Oklahoma had a few satellite camps schedule this summer, where finding just one player to offer in the bunch is worth holding the entire camp. Oklahoma starting center Jonathan Alvarez was an example of a satellite camp success story.

Alvarez came to the Sooners’ as a two-star prospect but worked with Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh at a satellite camp in Texas before being offered a scholarship. Alvarez was the only offensive lineman in his recruiting class to earn playing time during his first year on campus, and as a junior, he’ll likely start at center for the Sooners.

“In my mind, even if you found one guy, it was worth it,” Stoops said. “You might have 200 there and one guy is the one you offer. If he plays for you and does well, I think it’s a big get. I’ll tell you a perfect example of it for us is Jonathan Alvarez. . . . He’s going to be an excellent player for us, already has been, but moving forward. He’s a prime example of what you get by being able to work with guys.”


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