The NCAA Board of Directors voted on Thursday to rescind its ban on college football's satellite camps, the off-campus skills clinics that have doubled as recruiting trips for many teams, the NCAA announced.
At the beginning of April, the NCAA's Division I Council adopted a proposal to ban the camps. It wasn't to be finalized until Thursday's board meeting, although the ban took interim effect anyway.
"I think the bottom line is it's not good for the student-athletes, and that is what should be most important to all of us," Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham told SB Nation after the ban. "By not allowing satellite camps, that's gonna be less opportunity to evaluate these guys, so they suffer. I'm not in favor of it."
Players like satellite camps, by which schools effectively come to players rather than players having to shell out money for unofficial visits to campuses.
Coaches at non-power programs like them, because they've traditionally been allowed to visit Power 5 camps to scout players bigger schools host but might not recruit.
Texas State head coach Everett Withers, a former Ohio State defensive coordinator, used to host non-power coaches at the Buckeyes' camps. Now, he's on the other side of the equation as a Sun Belt head coach.
"It was a great opportunity for them to work and to see all the kids in the state of Ohio," Withers told SB Nation. "I can't go 25 miles up the road and work the University of Texas's camp. To me, that's a shame, because there are gonna be some kids that Texas is not gonna recruit that are gonna be at their camp, and I think it's a shame that I can't go up there and see them."
Many coaches felt the camps ban moved too quickly and that the voting conferences didn't fully consider the implications. Perhaps that sentiment helped produce this part:
"The Board of Directors is interested in a holistic review of the football recruiting environment, and camps are a piece of that puzzle," said Board of Directors chair Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina. "We share the Council's interest in improving the camp environment, and we support the Council's efforts to create a model that emphasizes the scholastic environment as an appropriate place for recruiting future student-athletes."
Ultimately, the loud uproar over how the camps ban would impact middling recruits and lower-tier programs probably became loud enough for the NCAA's governors to hear.
"The high-profile recruits, everybody knows about," Whittingham said. "They're gonna get their offers and exposure regardless, but it's those guys who are a little bit under the radar, those players that are not four- and five-star athletes and three-star athletes, that are really gonna be the ones that suffer."
For now, though, the ban is off. It's a tough blow for much of the ACC and SEC, which led the charge for the ban in the first place as a way to stave off Northern recruiters from Southern recruiting territory. It's a win for a lot of players, Group of five coaches and -- maybe most prominently -- Jim Harbaugh.
However, even SEC coaches had said before the ban that they planned to get in on the action once conference rules allowed it, so now we can expect coaches all over to try it.
"While we are disappointed with the NCAA governance process result, we respect the Board of Directors' decision and are confident SEC football programs will continue to be highly effective in their recruiting efforts," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. "SEC coaches will be allowed to engage in summer camps as a result of Conference legislation approved during the 2015 SEC Spring Meetings."