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OSU’s Meyer rips NCAA for camp ban, unlimited texting

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer unleashed his displeasure with the NCAA Council votes last Friday that approved a proposal to ban coaches from working football camps, but also lifted any regulations on coaches texting recruits.

Ohio State currently is participating in spring practice, and Meyer met with media Monday in Columbus.

Meyer was asked for his response to the NCAA’s decision that eliminates satellite camps, effective immediately. Also, FBS coaches and non-coaching staff members can only work at camps at their own schools.

Meyer said he’s not worried about how this will affect Ohio State, but how it will affect smaller programs.

“The biggest thing that I didn’t realize was … now the MAC schools can’t come here,” Meyer said Monday. “I mean probably hundreds of scholarships have come out of here to those young players. I know my son’s getting recruited now little bit. What camps do you send them to?

“Not many kids can play at Ohio State. But now Bowling Green (doesn’t) get a chance to watch them play. When I was at Bowling Green, you’d come to Ohio State’s camp because you’d get to see all these players. I wish they’d revisit part of that. I think sometimes there’s a kneejerk reaction because people complain. I get that. It’s a slippery slope.

“I’m not worried about the high-level players because they’re going to find a way to get where they’ve got to get. I’m talking about … there’s a big chunk of players out there that deserve to play major college football. I hope they revisit it.”

Leach: ‘Petty jealousies’ of Harbaugh led to camp ban

Locally, the Sound Mind Sound Body Academy, born in Detroit and entering its 12th year, will be affected by the rule change. A number of current college football players, and some still in high school, took to Twitter on Sunday to write about how camps benefit young athletes, particularly those who can’t afford to travel far to camps or take unofficial college visits.

A hashtag was born on Twitter on Sunday – #ChangeNCAA – and was later trending as the players voiced their objections to the NCAA Council’s vote to eliminate the camps. At least two petitions to the NCAA to support satellite camps were created Sunday and began to circulate via social media.

To that point, Meyer questioned why the players aren’t being consulted.

“How many student-athletes are on those (sub-committees)?” Meyer said. “And ask them, ‘What’s your option of this?’ and listen to them. If it’s as strong as I saw where some kids are saying, ‘If you take away this camp, those are opportunities taken from players.’ Well, these coaches don’t like it. That’s OK, listen to the student-athlete. What do they have to say about it?”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh had been a proponent of the camps and took his staff on a nine-city “Swarm Tour” last summer across the country, which particularly rankled SEC and ACC coaches. He already had several summer camps scheduled this summer, including a stop at the Sound Mind Sound Body Academy, which will be held at Wayne State June 9-10.

Local college, prep players blast NCAA camp verdict

Harbaugh has yet to voice his opinion of the ban.

The Division I Council also announced deregulated electronic communication in several sports, including football. Meyer has never been fan.

“That’s the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard,” Meyer said. “Because they can’t police the coaches. Fire the coaches who do it. Fire them. Make the penalties so absolutely out of control that they won’t do it. You’ll never coach again in major college football if you on-purpose text someone. Think about the student-athlete first. I think they need to revisit this.

“Do you really want text messages from 100 universities on your phone when you come out of school? Now you’re going to get them. Some intern is going to be punching text messages on your phone.”