Yes, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is still hollering about satellite camps in 2017. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, he discussed his frustration with getting into certain states for satellite camps, specifically in Louisiana. Tulane was set to have a camp with Michigan’s staff, but the Wolverines were later disinvited.
“It’s definitely a strategy by several football factories to prevent competitors on their turf; the kids be darned,” Harbaugh said.
Let’s just talk about how Harbaugh, a head coach who makes $7 million a year, second only to Alabama’s Nick Saban, who will make $11 million this season, is complaining about “football factories.” I’ll just throw out some numbers for you.
Michigan’s athletic department brought in $152,477,026 during its last fiscal year, fourth in the country according to USA Today. According to PennLive.com, which uses the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics figures, Michigan football hauled in $97.1 million in 2015-16. LSU brought in considerably less than that, with $55 million reported.
Tulane chose LSU and Coach Orgeron’s staff as Michigan’s replacement for camp. Another Bayou school, Southeastern Louisiana, was scheduled to have a camp with Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Houston. They were all replaced with LSU, as well. But Orgeron contends that this isn’t an effort to keep outside programs away.
Orgeron told Sports Illustrated that LSU did not push Southeastern Louisiana or Tulane to disinvite other staffs: “No. No. This was us keeping Louisiana together.” He blamed LSU waiting to plan camps until after spring ball for the sudden interest in working with Tulane and Southeastern Louisiana. But he did also say, “Protecting the state of Louisiana is always going to be my job as the coach of LSU.”
Michigan already has several camps scheduled, and it has since replaced Tulane for next month, teaming up with UConn and Old Dominion instead. Harbaugh and his coaches also will be attending camps at Mercer, John Carroll, Sam Houston State, Incarnate Word, Valdosta State, Florida Atlantic, Tennessee State, and UCLA, per Maize and Brew.
No, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Harbaugh make headlines about satellite camps.
Following the NCAA’s brief ban of them, the head coach put the NCAA, SEC, and ACC on-blast.
"It seems to be outrage by the SEC and ACC," Harbaugh says. "They power-brokered that out ... the image that comes to my mind is guys in a back room smoking cigars, doing what they perceive is best for them. It certainly isn't the best thing for the youngsters. It's not the best thing for the student-athletes."
Following Michigan’s spring break trip to Florida, featuring practices at recruiting powerhouse IMG, the NCAA banned teams from traveling practices during spring break.
Harbaugh made sure to give the Wolverines one last hurrah though before that rule goes into effect this summer by sending his team to Rome last month for “a week of education.” It was an eventful week, and the team was able to meet the Pope, Harbaugh sung some opera, and they experienced various other fun things throughout.
This probably won’t be the last time Harbaugh is mad about satellite camps, if I had to guess.