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Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban are having the fiercest satellite camps debate yet


Jim Harbaugh and the SEC don't get along very well. The central point of contention has been satellite camps, which coaches from various conferences have used as ways to meet recruits in faraway territory.

On Tuesday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban launched into a diatribe against the camps during SEC spring meetings, calling them "the wild, wild West at its best," among other things. He mentioned his objections had nothing to do with blaming Harbaugh in particular.

One of Saban's criticisms against the camps was that they might catch college football coaches in trouble with the NCAA when they attend camps held by other schools or even private organizations.

Why should we be promoting anybody else's camp anywhere? All we're doing is allowing all these other people that we spend all of our time at the NCAA saying you can't recruit through a third-party person, and that's exactly what you're doing.

Creating all these third parties. And who gets exposed on that? I go to a camp and talk to some guy I don't know from Adam's house cat, and he's representing some kid cause he's putting a camp on, and then I'm in trouble for talking to this guy.

Harbaugh responded in kind Tuesday evening with a tweet that went far beyond his usual brand of Twitter shade.

Harbaugh may be referencing recruiting violations that led to the dismissal of Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis in April. (Harbaugh's Michigan self-reported four secondary NCAA violations a year ago.)

He's still going:

Wednesday, Saban struck back:

That's his business. I don't really care what he thinks or tweets. I say what I think is best for college football and say what I think is best for the players and the kids. As I said, it's not about him or anybody else. Yes, my concern with these camps is only heightened by the fact that we had a coach that had an illegal bump and had to leave the staff.

Thursday, more Harbaugh, again describing Saban as "hypocritical":

Satellite camps are often framed as off-campus skills clinics, but they are also beneficial to schools like Michigan because they create additional recruiting opportunities in the heart of talent hotbeds like the South. Conversely, SEC schools hate the camps because they mean that: 1) Others are encroaching onto their territory and 2) Coaches have to work even harder on the recruiting trail.

Admittedly, this is bad for SEC coaches. Satellite camps seem to be a pretty good thing for everyone else, however, including high school football players, who gain exposure to schools they wouldn't have otherwise had contact with because of the time and money involved in traveling all over the country for visits.

Harbaugh has been very vocal about satellite camps in the past, as has Saban, and both will continue to be vocal about satellite camps as well as host and participate in satellite camps until the phrase "satellite camps" has lot any meaning in your tried, bleary mind.