The NCAA immediately banned satellite football camps after an urgent vote of member conferences late last week. The issue began when Jim Harbaugh went barnstorming across the South last summer, terrifying tanned-ass SEC coaches who apparently thought he was the second coming of William Tecumseh Sherman.
The NCAA approved Friday a proposal by the ACC to forbid universities to use secondary sites for camps, so satellite camps are no more, effective immediately. According to ESPN, the Big Ten, AAC, C-USA and MAC conferences voted to keep the camps, while the ACC, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12, MWC and Sun Belt voted for the proposal -- to ban them.
All of this makes questionable sense, particularly given the recruiting practices of a majority of the nation's football programs. Satellite camps had become an effective way for mid-major schools to identify and recruit talent that wasn't being actively pursued by the Power 5 schools. MAC programs routinely attended camps held by Michigan and Ohio State to swim in the big schools' wake and pick off under-the-radar high school players. The votes of the Mountain West and Sun Belt to ban the camps came into immediate question, because they clearly contradicted their own programs' best interests.
The Mountain West figured to be one of the potential beneficiaries of satellite camps by sending coaches to camps at other schools. The Sun Belt's vote for the rule change is a little less surprising, considering they are the school's that benefit the most from players being overlooked by SEC and ACC schools, and can often land quality recruits that don't get the exposure needed to receive offers from bigger programs.
The Sun Belt's commissioner tried to explain it and ended up with something approximating an English sentence.
"The Sun Belt voted on a controversial issue to eliminate these satellite camps. Six of ten FBS conferences voted to eliminate these camps. The pros and cons of these camps can be debated, and I am sure there will continue to be discussion on this matter, but for now the majority has spoken and it's time to move on and the Sun Belt football programs will continue to get better with or without these camps."
I have tried diagramming that paragraph and ended up with the road map to Belgrade.
The Pac-12's vote might have been actually fraudulent, if Washington State coach Mike Leach is correct:
Leach said he is dumbfounded the Pac-12 representative voted down satellite camps. He said with the exception of UCLA and Stanford, the Pac-12 programs were on board.
"The voting process, that's a rabbled-up mystery too," Leach said. "From what I understand, this is befuddling, and I do plan to find out because our conference voted to eliminate satellite camps, and yet the vast majority of schools in our conference were in favor of satellite camps.
"I can't fathom how it's possible we voted to eliminate it. I don't know the details. Whether it's smart, dumb or in the middle, it's wrong. It's wrong. If you're some kid in south central LA who's really worked hard at football and worked really hard for your grades, now all of a sudden you don't have the opportunity to see as many schools as you would otherwise. That's crazy."
Anyone who has spent five minutes actually examining the issue -- a group that apparently did not include Ole Miss coach and noted bag man enthusiast Hugh Freeze, who didn't realize that banning coaches from off-campus camps would ban coaches not on the Ole Miss campus from his own camps -- the potential of Jim Harbaugh grabbing a recruit or two from the South probably didn't outweigh the loss to lower-rated recruits and smaller schools. Players who might get a chance to attend a MAC or Conference USA school for free could lose out on that opportunity. But the NCAA gonna NCAA, so things that actually help its unpaid labor force don't much matter.
Iowa's staff isn't barnstorming across the South most summers -- Hawkeye coaches held a camp in St. Louis last summer, and didn't have any published satellite camps set for 2016, as far as I know -- but could be significantly harmed by the decision. Iowa had used the camp road show to find recruits in the past. For instance, former two-star recruit and defending Thorpe Award winner Desmond King would likely be plying his trade at Ball State -- or not playing at all -- had it not been for Detroit's Sound Mind Sound Body camp.
Iowa coaches have attended the "Sound Mind Sound Body" camp in Detroit for several years. Desmond King, the Hawkeyes' all-American and Thorpe Award-winning cornerback, is a product of the SMSB camps.
During Rose Bowl media interviews, Iowa defensive coordinator and secondary coach Phil Parker said the first time he saw King was at the SMSB camp. King received offers from Mid-American Conference schools (Central Michigan and Ball State to name a few) because of exposure at that camp. Parker saw King and decided to dig a little deeper.
"When you go to those camps and you see those guys and you see somebody that might be a younger guy, you kind of have the idea, ‘hey, this guy's a good football player,'" Parker said.
Brian Cook (who has been on fire at mGoBlog since the NCAA decision came down) described the camp and found the first potential way around the decision:
Over the past ten years, Sound Mind Sound Body has become a very large camp indeed, one featuring dozens of college coaches and four digits worth of athletes. Either the NCAA just bombed that camp hard or maybe there's a loophole. That loophole could be SMSB's charity nature. Coaches have been allowed there because they volunteer their time, IIRC, and the word choice in the ruling is specific [that coaches may not 'be employed' at off-campus camps].
So maybe the decision won't hurt Iowa (or anyone else) that much after all. So long as coaches aren't receiving payment for their time, they could theoretically participate in satellite camps.
If that loophole closes, though, it's going to make it much more difficult for Iowa to find its usual haul of MAC guys who were missed by everyone else. Hawkeye coaches have effectively required many recruits -- especially those in or near Iowa -- to attend their own camps in recent years. Those could expand, both in size and geographic scope, but it's an imperfect solution at best.
What we're getting at: This could be problematic, even for "spirit of the law" programs like Iowa that weren't abusing camps in the past.
The day after Iowa lost to Villanova in the NCAA Tournament and our gaze turned to the 2016-17 season, the Hawkeyes' biggest short-term roster problem was obvious: Iowa lost both of its point guards with no obvious replacement. Christian Williams had been the third guard through the second half of 2015-16 and will likely get the first shot at the vacancy, but he's hardly a natural point guard and struggled frequently with the transition. Incoming freshman Jordan Bohannon is theoretically a point guard, but is known far more for his perimeter jump shot than his ballhandling or passing.
We received word of two transfers in short order. Brandon Hutton was leaving as the inevitable redshirt transfer that we all expected. Andrew Fleming's best attribute -- his perimeter shooting -- was redundant with Peter Jok presumably returning for his senior season, Brady Ellingson still on the roster, and Bohannon on his way. They both made implicit sense. But they also came in quick succession, from players who looked marginally able to contribute to Iowa in the short term, and their continued presence could be standing in the way of fixing the roster.
Just two weeks after those transfers, Iowa has already (justifiably) handed a scholarship to walk-on Nicholas Baer, and looks close to fixing that glaring roster problem at point guard:
McCaffery has connected with a lead guard he's pursuing in the 2016 recruiting class. New York City's Christian Vital put the Hawkeyes in his Top 5 at the end of March along with Louisville, Connecticut, Marquette and Alabama. He was committed to UNLV (never signed LOI), which fired head coach Dave Rice.
"It's going well," Vital said of his relationship with Iowa. "Coach Fran is working on coming down to my school when it isn't dead period anymore. And he's working with my mom to set up a visit.
"We have been able to talk at length multiple times about how he believes in me and how he sees me helping the team and community."
For those that follow football primarily, college basketball recruiting is kind of weird. The early-season signing day and high transfer rate makes some players who did not sign in the fall much more valuable. Vital looks like one of those guys, given that offer list.
The bigger question -- one we might not ever really know -- is whether Hutton and Fleming were effectively shown the door so that Iowa could fix the Baer problem and the point guard issue. Because all of this is awfully damn convenient on the surface.
Iowa has finalized a plan for $5.5 million in audio and video upgrades at Carver Hawkeye Arena, including an LED video display hung over the court. Hopefully some of the money will be used to buy the rights to songs that were released after the Korean War.
The DMR has an Iowa athletics official saying that the department is taking a "fans first" approach to football ticket sales, including potential improvements to concessions and parking at Kinnick Stadium. It begs the question: Where did fans rank before this year?
Federal investigators are on campus, allegedly made cuz we flagrant about TItle IX. If the Press-Citizon's reporting is correct, this won't be resolved any time soon, and that Barta extension might play itself out before we have resolution.
The NCAA rejected the proposal to add three more bowls in Austin, Charleston and Myrtle Beach and placed a moratorium on new bowl games for the rest of the decade, consigning Matt Campbell to a bowl-less first three seasons in Ames.
NCAA approves 3-year moratorium on new bowls, sources told @ESPN. Austin, Charleston & Myrtle Beach were in process of adding bowls in 2016— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) April 11, 2016
Hipster football fans were crushed.
BT Powerhouse published draft profiles for Peter Jok (OK), Mike Gesell (not really necessary) and Anthony Clemmons (lolwut). I appreciate the optimism, but if a Hawkeye other than Jarrod Uthoff hears his name called on draft night, I'll eat my hat.
The Big Ten baseball tournament will move to Omaha's TD Ameritrade Park -- home of the College World Series -- from 2018 through 2022. The Omaha venue is hosting this year's tournament, as well.
Illinois wide receiver Mikey Dudek tore his ACL and will miss next season. He missed all of last season after injuring the same knee.
Football Study Hall re-ranks all football programs from the 2000s. Iowa comes in 20th, and Bob Stoops had a good decade.
Greg Oden is returning to the Ohio State basketball program as a manager, and the Mark Titusing of America is now complete.
The Whopper is so much better than the Big Mac, it's not even funny.