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Dantonio on NCAA camp vote: ‘Abuse brings control’

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

The NCAA ruled last week satellite football camps were no longer allowed, and since then, there has been a wave of criticism from coaches and players around the Big Ten.

Curtis Blackwell, director of college advancement and performance at Michigan State and one of the founders of the Sound Mind Sound Body Academy, was one of the first to be openly critical.

“It is in no way in the best interest of the kids, that’s my takeaway,” he said.

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On Monday, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio agreed it was not helping players and smaller schools, but didn’t exactly hammer the ruling.

“I guess abuse brings control,” Dantonio said on 92.1 FM in Lansing.

That could be seen as a shot at Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, whose “Swarm Tour” last summer included nine satellite camps and drew the ire of folks from the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences, and eventually led to the vote to ban camps.

“I think that first of all, there are a lot of different ways you can look at that in terms of which direction they’re trying to stop things from happening,” Dantonio said. “One of the things is, it stops the opportunity of young people going to a particular camp. At Michigan State’s camp, we may have 30 colleges here working the camp.

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“Maybe the smaller colleges can still come but the MAC cannot come. That was advantageous for the MAC in general and those schools to be able to come and see players. That’s one of the things that’s taken the hit on this. I guess abuse brings control.”

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis expects the issue to continue to be discussed.

“I think Michigan State is always looking for ways to create opportunities,” Hollis said. “We’ve been a university, and we’re actually a conference, of opportunities and broad-based programs and how to give individuals a chance to get an education. … We want to give individuals a chance to be seen and I think some of the camps do a very good job of providing that opportunity for young men and women.

“I think the argument against (satellite camps) is what is it being used for? Is it being used to create opportunities or is it being used to try and get a positioning of marketing from just a pure recruiting standpoint? Those are harder and harder points to distinguish in today’s world. So the rule has been passed and I think we continue to debate.”