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What's The Big Deal About Satellite Camps?

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It's been an issue that had a conclusion then was reopened and is now being debated again: satellite camps. Are they good for college football? Check out the story below for more details on the debate.

Jim Harbaugh looks on during the Michigan spring game.
Jim Harbaugh looks on during the Michigan spring game.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

If you've been following the college football off season news there's really only been a few topics of discussion. The main debate that has been either boiling or a low simmer throughout has been the topic of "satellite camps." What are these? How do they impact Miami? What should be done about them? Read on then post your own opinion!

What is a satellite camp?

These camps are held during the off season of college and high school football during the spring and into the summer months. The camp duration can last anywhere from one day to an entire week. They're essentially practice sessions for high school players to work on their individual technique or even in game situation type of drills like seven on sevens. Most of you reading this article have probably gone to summer camp where you played sports all day during your stay/attendance. Imagine just football drills and your instructors aren't the average joe from the community center but division 1 through 3 football coaches.

Why is everyone so up in arms about the camps?

It's pretty simple really. Southern coaches (ACC and SEC especially) want to keep their recruits blanketed within their state or region with only real exposure to the local programs or, in theory, only to them.

Say, for example, Marcus Day (made up alias) is the number 17 running back in the state of Florida (a low three star recruit). He comes from a family that can only afford for him to travel to to one or two satellite camps during his junior summer heading into his senior year. He decides to go to one at the University of Miami and say UCF. At each camp he meets the coaches for both schools and then the local smaller schools like FAMU, FAU, FIU, etc.

With satellite camps being made open season to any coaching staff, the schools from the Midwest or anywhere in the country for that matter will be able to attend and teach. In theory, Marcus could then go to a local camp and meet Coach Harbuagh or James Franklin or one of their assistants who's present. He'd then be able to get more exposure to their teaching styles and their coaching philosophies. If Michigan or Penn State weren't in his "Top 10" before, they may be now. With that new exposure he could then possibly start to be recruited by them and go on official visits and all the other events known to happen with recruiting. Heck, he may even get rerated hire at these camps if he were to impress those present.

There is one more rub to bring up. The ACC and SEC also limit their coaches to overall travel distance from their campuses. This means that if Coach Kool at Miami who is a known expert recruiter of the state of Texas wanted to go and teach in the Lone Star State, he wouldn't be able to do so.

How do we fix the problem?

In the end this really comes down to the "have's" and "have-nots" both by the prospective recruits and the coaches geographically displaced by weather (damn you Mother Nature and your "seasons"). The Universities in the Deep South who have the never ending recruiting base want to keep the "others" out of their supply line. Meanwhile recruits who maybe lower rated or have never been scouted at all just want to have a chance to be seen by as many people as possible and hopefully earn a scholarship opportunity in the future (keep in mind, these camps happen sometimes during recruiting "dead periods").

I tried taking a pragmatic view on this and came up with the following:

Each University can sponsor 8 events between certain months in the summer (total number of events can be decided later). The events can be anywhere the venue allows it to take place. Meaning if Michigan wanted to plop down a satellite camp on Greentree, Miami could disallow it because that's where they practice. However, if Michigan wanted to hold an event at say, IMG Academy then the Wolverines could ask the school for permission.

Each coach can attend 24 total sessions during a year. Honestly, the number can be expanded or reduced, the point is that a set number needs to be made. 24 may sound like a lot but I'm pretty sure many coaches are attending events five or six days a week starting in June and rolling through July. Keep in mind also there could be multiple sessions a day as some camps may only last a few hours.

Honestly though, if we wanted to completely destroy this system or at least regulate it, there needs to be a mutually assured route of destruction which is very simple: send all your coaches to other recruiting hot beds. Right now it seems everyone is discussing Midwest schools plundering the state of Florida. What if Miami sent Kool to Texas, CMR to California to "teach" (scout) QBs and Coach Brown to his home state of Georgia? Pretty sure many of those universities would have a "get off my lawn" moment and petition their ADs to stop the practice. The only way to kill the process or at least change it is to fully embrace the insanity yourself and be everywhere at once.

How does this impact Miami?

Do satellite camps hurt Miami? In a way, sure. The "State of Miami" will see another style of infiltration. However, c'mon guys. This is about the recruits and making sure they make an informed decision to whom and where they want to play for. Not to mention it can help a number of kids get discovered by coaching staffs that may never have had the chance to see them in the first place.

What are your thoughts Canes fans?