NCAA wants to limit satellite camps to 10 days

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Jim Harbaugh

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh had been a strong advocate and participant of summer satellite camps. But the NCAA Division I Council has proposed a change that would limit those opportunities for college coaches and their staffs.

The NCAA also wants to restrict when and where college football coaches can hold satellite camps and to implement two early signing periods for high school prospects.

The two proposals announced Wednesday were recommended by the football oversight committee as part of comprehensive reforms to recruiting. The council also recommended allowing FBS schools to have 10 assistant coaches.

The proposals need approval by the Board of Directors and would go into effect for the 2017-18 year.

Harbaugh and his staff undertook a schedule of approximately 40 satellite camps last summer, but NCAA officials want programs to have no more than 10 days for holding or participating in camps and clinics. They do not have to be 10 days in succession, but that is a reduction from two, 15-day periods.

According to the proposal, “The camps must be owned, operated and conducted by NCAA member schools and occur on the school’s campus or in facilities the school primarily uses for practice or competition.” Doing that will “better protect the health and safety of participating students.”

In other words, Harbaugh and other coaches no longer would be permitted to attend camps at high schools.

The proposal, however, would allow coaches participating in the camps to “have recruiting conversations with participating student-athletes during the event.”

The two new 72-hour early signing periods would be held in June and December. The traditional National Signing Day, the first Wednesday in February, would not change.

The June period would be primarily for high school players who wish to sign before their senior seasons, and the December period is targeted at junior college transfers.

Supporters of the camps say allowing coaches to attend camps away from their campuses helps increase exposure and opportunities for high school players hoping to land scholarships. Opponents say the camps are primarily about recruiting outside the recruiting calendar.