NCAA bans satellite football camps, no more Michigan practices in Florida

By The Sports Xchange  |  April 8, 2016 at 7:11 PM
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No more spring practices in Florida for Michigan football after the NCAA closed the loophole for satellite camps, effective immediately, in a ruling Friday.

The SEC proposed the rule in response to Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh's spring practices and satellite camps, possibly giving him recruiting advantages. Harbaugh scheduled four Michigan practices at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., from Feb. 28-March 4, and was scheduled to coach at football camps this summer in Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.

The NCAA shut down satellite camps after the ruling by the Division I Council that requires FBS programs to conduct all clinics at school facilities or facilities regularly used for practice or competition.

"The Council approved a proposal applicable to the Football Bowl Subdivision that would require those schools to conduct camps and clinics at their school's facilities or at facilities regularly used for practice or competition," the NCAA stated Friday. "Additionally, FBS coaches and noncoaching staff members with responsibilities specific to football may be employed only at their school's camps or clinics. This rule change is effective immediately."

The SEC and ACC ban their coaches from such satellite camps at destinations outside a 50-mile radius from their schools. The SEC would have lifted its ban if the new NCAA rule did not pass.

The shots first came in February from SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and then ACC commissioner John Swofford after Harbaugh announced plans to take the Wolverines to Florida.

Harbaugh had called the criticism "comical" and NCAA president Mark Emmert had voiced his disapproval of Michigan's practices in Florida.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban spoke out against satellite camps in advance of the council's ruling.

"I'm really not even thinking that it has that much value," Saban told AL.com on Thursday. "What would be a more interesting question for you to research -- and I can't answer this -- the teams that have done them, what value does it serve? How many players did they get? They had some players commit to them and some of those players decommitted, and I know they even wanted to drop some of those players when they found out they could get better players."

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