Alabama coach Nick Saban took aim at satellite camps – and kept firing and firing – during the SEC spring meetings Tuesday in Destin, Florida.
“This is the wild, wild west at its best because there’s been no specific guidelines relative to how we’re managing and controlling this stuff,” Saban said.
Saban was asked how much it benefits his own program to attend a satellite camp.
“I don’t know how much it benefits anybody,” Saban responded. “Because all the people that say this is creating opportunity for kids – this is all about recruiting.”
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, of course, is a big advocate of satellite camps and has scheduled at least 40 for himself and his staff in June.
And several hours later, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh took to Twitter to fire back.
"'Amazing'" to me- Alabama broke NCAA rules & now their HC is lecturing us on the possibility of rules being broken at camps. Truly 'amazing.'"
Saban used the word "amazing" during his rant against satellite camps.
This is not the first time Harbaugh has chirped at an opposing coach on Twitter, and he remained consistent not naming the coach. When he tweeted at Georgia coach Kirby Smart and Tennessee coach Butch Jones, he did not refer to them by name.
Harbaugh and his staff began Tuesday night an ambitious schedule of satellite camps across the country and also in Australia and American Samoa.
Excerpts from Saban’s rant:
“We are the one sport that the high school coach still matters. Until this satellite camp issue came up, you still had to go to the high school, you had to go to the high school coach, the players came to your campus if they were interested, and learning and having a good camp where they could develop.
“By doing what we’re doing now, we’re doing what we’ve done in every other sport that we complain about every day – AAU basketball and all of this – because that’s what’s happening out there.
“Anybody can have a camp now if they have a prospect. Then you’re expected to go to that camp, and they can use you to promote their camp, because Ohio State’s coming, Alabama’s coming, whoever else is coming.
“This is the wild, wild west at its best because there’s been no specific guidelines relative to how we’re managing and controlling this stuff. It’s happening outside our normal evaluation window, which means we’re taking time away from our players.”
Saban was asked how much it benefits his program to attend a satellite camp.
“I don’t know how much it benefits anybody,” Saban responded. “Because all the people that say this is creating opportunity for kids – this is all about recruiting.
“What’s amazing to me is, somebody didn’t stand up and say, ‘Here are the unintended consequences of what you all are doing.’
“We want to have our own camp. We want people to come to our camp. … Why should we be promoting somebody else’s camp anywhere? It’s the same thing I said before – this is the only sport where the high school coach still matters, what they (the athletes) did at the high school still matters, so all you’re doing is allowing all these other people that we spent all of our time with the NCAA saying, ‘You can’t recruit through a third party. You can’t be involved with third-party people.’ And that’s exactly what you’re doing – creating all these third parties that’s going to get involved with the prospects.
“What kind of compliance people do we have at these camps?
Saban was asked if he blames Harbaugh for the current state of affairs with satellite camps.
“I’m not blaming Jim Harbaugh,” Saban said. “I’m just saying it’s bad for college football. Jim Harbaugh can do whatever he wants to do. I’m not saying anything bad about him.
“There needs to be somebody that looks out for what’s best for the game. Not what’s best for the Big Ten or what’s best for the SEC or what’s best for Jim Harbaugh – but what’s best for the game of college football, the integrity of the game.
“Right now since we have the Power Five, everybody’s politicking for what they want for their conference.
“There needs to be a college football commissioner.”