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The SEC and schools in talented recruiting areas win with satellite camp ban

Welcome to The Crootletter (sign up to get this in your inbox every morning!). I'm Bud Elliott, SB Nation's National Recruiting Analyst, and in this space I'll be sharing news, rumors and musings on the world of college football recruiting.

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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.


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 "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.


Land Grant Holy Land explains that Ohio State is off to a historic recruiting start for 2017. But how many players can it take in the class? What other positions will fill the remaining spots?

Maryland added four-star defensive tackle Cam Spence Friday morning. As mentioned in Thursday's Crootletter, this could be a memorable recruiting weekend for the Terps.

Missouri's retention rates of recent recruiting classes have not been good, as Rock M Nation profiles.

Could Arizona have a top-25 recruiting class?


Texas recruits and recruiting experts say that they are in a holding pattern, waiting to see what is going to happen with Charlie Strong and Kevin Sumlin.

If you're a recent signup or missed a day, that's OK. I link my previous Crootletters in this section.

Georgia, Florida State and Clemson recruits shined at The Opening Atlanta Regional.

Is Urban Meyer going to copy Jim Harbaugh's Michigan spring break practice concept next year?

Who are the top players in Dallas? Where are they leaning? Find out in this recap of the Nike Opening Regional Camp.

Here are top players at the Miami Nike Opening Regional Camp.