clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The NCAA might replace satellite camps with its own camps at pro facilities

New, comments

More regulation and some national organization could appease critics of these camps, and using the NFL's map coverage could work really well.

Michigan Football Spring Game Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Perhaps nothing has college football coaches and decision-makers madder this offseason than the debate over satellite camps.

Frustrated with headlines that included Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh’s 38-stop world tour, which cost over $300,000, conference representatives voted to ban the entire practice, before the NCAA changed its mind.

Some sort of regulatory action is still likely, as the lack of regulation is one point raised by critics like Nick Saban.

Now, it’s possible the NCAA has found a solution. Per Harry Minium of the Virginian-Pilot, the NCAA is considering getting rid of school-sponsored camps, but replacing them with an official spring camps circuit, in association with some facilities used by NFL players, with the story’s headline referring to the idea as an NFL partnership.

The NCAA is considering banning satellite football camps and replacing them next spring with camps it would sponsor at NFL training centers and high schools.

If the NCAA doesn't ban the current camps, documents indicate it is likely to set a 10-day window for coaches to attend camps. The current window is 30 days.

That actually might work out just fine.

One of the great things about satellite camps is that they provide an opportunity for kids to work out in front of lots of college programs without having to shoulder the burden of expensive travel to multiple campuses.

Some sort of partnership with NFL-focused facilities could help. If that partnership could extend to using 32 NFL team facilities themselves, that could cover almost the entire country right away, since there’s an NFL team near most of the major talent hubs for college football prospects:

PatsPulpit.com

If you added a handful of other hubs partnered with high schools or small colleges (maybe in Birmingham, Boise, El Paso, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Virginia Beach), most high school prospects would have a camp option within a reasonable drive.

Per Minium, the NCAA is also considering "compensating low-income athletes for the cost of traveling to the camps," making it even easier for kids to improve their chances of earning athletic scholarships.

By nationalizing the program, you help alleviate the concerns many coaches have had about unregulated camps.

That might reduce the advantage of these camps for some programs that are located outside of top recruiting areas, but by standardizing the programming a bit, a tool that is unquestionably good for kids becomes a little more palatable for everybody.

Kids get more opportunities to compete for scholarships, and in a way that’s less financially burdensome. Coaches get additional evaluation opportunities and can worry less about their peers bending rules. NFL reps even get a chance to help instruct younger players, so they won’t get to complain as much that college football isn’t preparing athletes well. Everybody wins.

And hey, there’s a Harbaugh in the NFL too. So we’ll probably still have some weird things to write about.