The NCAA has now banned satellite camps. Almost universally, conferences with many schools in fertile recruiting areas were in favor of the ban, and conferences in areas without elite talent were against the ban. Everyone is self-interested here.
Source told @ESPN conferences that voted against satellite camps: ACC, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12, MWC, Sun Belt. In favor: B1G, AAC, C-USA, MAC— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) April 8, 2016
I've been reading a lot lately about satellite camps, as the SEC considers whether to allow its members to conduct them. It seems likely that if the NCAA does not ban the practice for all, the SEC will allow it for its member schools so that they are not placed at a disadvantage.
And while I concede there is some benefit for SEC schools, the benefit is much greater to schools on less fertile recruiting grounds, like those in the Big Ten. Ultimately, that's why it makes sense for the SEC to continue to push behind the scenes for the NCAA to ban the practice.
Alabama coach Nick Saban pointed out that satellite camps as of yet have not produced big results for the teams having them, and suggested that they were potentially a net negative.
"I'm really not even thinking that it has that much value," Saban said to Al.com. "What would be a more interesting question for you to research -- and I can't answer this -- the teams that have done them, what value does it serve? How many players did they get? They had some players commit to them and some of those players decommitted, and I know they even wanted to drop some of those players when they found out they could get better players."
I took his "they" reference to mean Michigan, as he has previously discussed the Wolverines and would likely know about some players in his state Michigan took and then wanted to drop. And in the short term, Saban is probably correct. But satellite camps are a long play. I suspect Saban knows that if Michigan holds enough camps in his backyard, Alabama may eventually lose a local player it wants to the Wolverines. And that's why he is discussing it.
Kevin Sumlin knows where Texas A&M would go if the SEC allows the practice.
"I know there are a number of SEC programs that are set and ready to go if it happens," he told ESPN. "We will have satellite camps outside of the state. We're ready to go. They're already on the calendar. We've got some tentative dates and locations set, so that if things go a certain way, we can be prepared to go. We're not the only SEC team that's doing that, too."
If Alabama did host a satellite camp, where would it do so? My guesses: 1) Miami, 2) New Orleans, 3) Charlotte. Atlanta is an obvious choice, but it does not have the same benefit as reaching out to players who are a farther drive away.
What would be the best satellite camp spot for each SEC school? Let me know in the comment section.
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