Athletic Recruiting football NCAA

NCAA Reverses Ban on Satellite Camps

football-coach-with-team

Like Deflategate, the NCAA and satellite camps is a story that continually contradicts itself. In the latest chapter, the NCAA Board of Directors has reversed course and decided to allow satellite camps, going against their previous decision from only three weeks ago.

There’s hope that this whole saga is finally resolved, as a source told ESPN.com’s Brett McMurphy:

“This was absolutely the correct decision. I now believe there is a middle ground we (supporters of satellite camps) can get to (with those opposed to satellite camps).”

The brief history of satellite camps

Fans of the Big Ten and Notre Dame don’t want to hear this, but there’s a reason the SEC or ACC has won nine of the last 10 college football championships. Simply put, most of the talented recruits reside in the Southeast and student-athletes generally do not travel too far from home for college.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh understands the geographical realities of modern college football and that’s why he started holding satellite camps or practices away from campus in the Southeast. But in typical Harbaugh fashion, he was brash, loud and unapologetic about it which drew the ire of the rest of college football.

Although Harbaugh did not break any NCAA rules, opposing coaches from the ACC and SEC, including Nick Saban, felt Harbaugh had no business coming down into their turf and pilfering their prized football recruits.

The SEC and ACC complained to the media and took action by self-imposing bans on satellite camps. At face value that sounds like a strict punishment until you realize that they don’t need to hold satellite camps because the recruits are already in their backyards. In essence, a self-imposed ban by these conferences is the same as outlawing the use of cars for commuting when you live across the street from work.

The NCAA somehow felt that it would be unfair for only some teams to hold these camps, however frivolous, so they decided to hold a vote among the conferences and satellite camps were banned.

The ban on satellite camps may have been a referendum on Harbaugh himself who seems to rub most people the wrong way. Whether you love him or hate him, he’s a terrific football coach and he was able to find a clever, lawful way to even the playing ground with the powerhouses in the SEC and ACC.

What you should remember about satellite camps.

Coach Bob Chmiel, who often shares his years of recruiting wisdom in this blog, had this advice for football players:

NCAA legislation can always change. For now, what you’re dealing with as a student-athlete is just your sport: football. Move ahead with your plans with the legislation as it currently is, as if it’s always here to stay. If you need to adjust your plans, you’ll be in a better position to do so if you’ve already been proactive on a daily basis.

If you’ve investigated every option to place yourself in a position to get a maximum of exposure, you’ll find assistance in this process.


Just like Coach Chmiel, we’re always here to help football players seek a college degree while playing the sport they love. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

About the author
Tom Johnson