The ban on satellite camps was short-lived after the decision was rescinded by the NCAA Board of Directors on Thursday. The decision overruled a ban created by the Division I Council, which was told on Thursday to re-evaluate “the football recruiting environment.”
“The Board of Directors is interested in a holistic review of the football recruiting environment, and camps are a piece of that puzzle,” Board of Directors chairman and South Carolina president Harris Pastides said in a release. “We share the Council’s interest in improving the camp environment, and we support the Council’s efforts to create a model that emphasizes the scholastic environment as an appropriate place for recruiting future student-athletes.”
The SEC fought against the satellite camps after Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh created waves by holding camps throughout the Southeast and other parts of country last year. He continued to poke the bear by holding a spring break camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., which drew criticism from some in the SEC, including conference commissioner Greg Sankey.
While the ban was considered a win for the big programs in the SEC, it was panned by many as a punishment for recruits who were stripped of potential opportunities to impress coaches from other regions. Members of the Division I Council who represent FBS conferences voted 10-5 in favor of the ban earlier this month, but now will get a chance to more thoroughly review this issue before deciding how to proceed next.
Regarding Thursday’s decision, Sankey said in a statement: “While we are disappointed with the NCAA governance process result, we respect the Board of Directors’ decision and are confident SEC football programs will continue to be highly effective in their recruiting efforts.
“We continue to believe football recruiting is primarily an activity best focused in high schools during the established recruiting calendar, which has provided opportunities for football prospective student-athletes from all across the country to obtain broad national access and exposure but with appropriate guidance from high school coaches, teachers and advisors that focuses on both their academic and athletic opportunities as they decide where they will play college football.
“SEC coaches will be allowed to engage in summer camps as a result of the Conference legislation approved during the 2015 SEC Spring Meetings.”
In presumptive response to the NCAA news, Michigan’s official Twitter account posted a GIF of Harbaugh that seemed to trumpet the latest decision.
— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) April 28, 2016
Earlier in the week, the U.S. Department of Justice reportedly began “informal inquiries” about the legality of the ban for limiting opportunities for potential student-athletes.
The SEC’s ban on camps ends May 29, two days before the league’s spring meetings.