NCAA overturns ban on satellite camps

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

The NCAA board of directors has overturned the ban on holding camps away from school, commonly called satellite camps.

In a statement Thursday, the board stressed that it wants the Division I council, which enacted the ban earlier this month, to conduct a thorough review of the entire FBS recruiting process. The council reports to the board of directors and oversees a number of NCAA legislative committees.

"It's clear that the membership has differing views on this subject, and the Council appreciates the Board's insights into this important issue," said council chair Jim Phillips, Northwestern's athletic director. "This review will provide an opportunity to identify the most effective ways prospective student-athletes can have their academic and athletic credentials evaluated by schools across the country."

Satellite camps rose to prominence over the past year as several programs, notablyMichiganand others from the Big Ten, conducted camps in the South and regions rich in recruiting prospects.

Alabama coach Nick Saban had spoken out against satellite camps before the earlier ruling.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey issued a statement after the ban was lifted.

"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," the statement read.

Sankey said that the SEC believes the recruiting process is best conducted in high schools during the recruiting calendar. He also added, however, that SEC coaches will be allowed to conduct summer camps.

The NCAA had ruled earlier this month that camps must be held at the school's home, effectively handing a win to the SEC and ACC, which had banned their coaches from working camps at destinations outside a 50-mile radius from their schools.

There had been two parts to the ban. One prohibited schools from taking their staffs into other parts of the country. The argument was that schools were using the trips for recruiting, not for teaching football. The second part banned coaches from working at any camps away from their campus. Some camps gather coaches from around the country.

Immediately after the ban was enacted, controversy erupted when it was revealed that representatives of the Pac-12 and Sun Belt voted for the ban against the wishes of their conferences.

"This was absolutely the correct decision," a source told ESPN's Brett McMurphy after the NCAA's announcement. "I now believe there is a middle ground we [supporters of satellite camps] can get to [with those opposed to satellite camps]."

In light of the ban being overturned, the ACC said that it was rescinding its rule prohibiting coaches from working camps outside a 50-mile radius from school and would now be in line with the NCAA regulations.

Information from ESPN's Brett McMurphy and Mitch Sherman was used in this report.