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WSU recruiting: The battle for satellite camps

IF THE SEC had its way, Christian Haangana might not be a Cougar. A crucial piece of the three-star, 6-5, 365-pound offensive lineman’s decision to sign with WSU last week was put in place after his sophomore season when Mike Leach and Co. worked a satellite camp Haangana attended in California. The SEC wants the NCAA to ban satellite camps.

Satellite camps are where college coaches from a school go and work a third-party camp (generally out of state).  Mike Leach and his staff typically work around five satellite camps in California in the spring.

At a satellite camp in Danville in 2014, WSU discovered Haangana and immediately began developing a relationship with him that led to his signing with the Cougs. WSU also first came across another 2016 o-line signee, Liam Ryan, at a satellite camp in Roseville. 

The SEC objected vehemently to the practice last spring when Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and staff worked satellite camps in SEC territory.  This week, the SEC’s latest salvo on that front is again directed at Harbaugh -- Michigan plans to hold some of its spring ball practices in Florida (Feb. 27-March 6) during Michigan’s spring break.

SEC commissioner  Greg Sankey insists it has nothing to do with Harbaugh wanting to practice in Florida. Sankey told USA Today the SEC would be objecting just the same if Michigan wanted to hold spring break practices in Montana.

No one with a brain believes that. 

The SEC doesn’t have the best interests of Michigan (or NCAA) student-athletes in mind. It’s all about trying to stop another school from recruiting in its area.

“Our primary reaction (is) that, in the face of the time-demand conversations, we've got one program taking what has been 'free time' away,” Sankey told CBS Sports. “Let's draw a line and say, ‘That's not appropriate.'"

Let’s also draw a line and be truthful on what this is really about.  And that’s the SEC trying to restrict a competitor's ability to build a brand in its markets.  And in the process, limiting all prospect’s choices and exposure, including those WSU wants to recruit in California. 


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