DESTIN, Fla. — The SEC and its schools, opposed to satellite camps for so long, has jumped in wholeheartedly now that they’re legal: Its 14 teams appearing at many of them. The conference is even considering “conference sponsored” such camps.
And having said all that, the conference is still just as wholeheartedly against satellite camps.
“We don’t think satellite camps are healthy in college football recruiting. And they are about recruiting,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Tuesday, wrapping up the first day of SEC meetings. “I’m concerned and I think this conference remains concerned about what happens around those camps this summer. But that is the football recruiting culture that’s been adopted now, and we’ll see what happens this summer.”
Sankey spent a good deal of time at the press conference discussing the satellite camps. Last year, standing at the same spot, Sankey had vowed that if the NCAA didn’t step in to disallow the camps, that the SEC would rescind its rule one year later. Now that it’s happened, Sankey made clear the conference’s position still has not changed.
When asked to expand on what he meant about what happened “around those camps,” Sankey alluded to third-party recruiting, as opposed to parents and coaches, as well as the unwanted expansion of the recruiting calendar.
Sankey defended the original vote earlier this spring, by the NCAA council, that initially outlawed the camps. After an outcry, including a Department of Justice query, the NCAA reversed itself.
The Pac-12 said a representative at the initial meeting voted the opposite way than the league as a whole wanted. Sankey, pointing out he’s been at those same type of meetings, said he understood how the initial Pac-12 vote could have happened – and could have been the right one.
“I’ve been a representative of this conference, and I have voted differently than the majority vote going into the council,” Sankey said. “Because you sit in the room and have conversation and you learn from different people different perspectives. … So I actually thought the outcome at the council level was an indication of a healthy system.”
But it was reversed, and now satellite camps are legal for everybody, including the SEC. Even if Nick Saban and many figures in the SEC are still fired up about it.
“It’ll be interesting to see what the learning experience of this summer, what the results will be,” Sankey said.