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Thursday, April 28, 2016


Everybody knows that Jim Harbaugh was using the Satellite Camp rules loophole to continue recruiting during the summertime non-contact periods. Observers and commentators from coast-to-coast have identified the behavior accurately. The recent NCAA crackdown on the tricky scheme was necessary to maintain a sense of regulatory order within college football in order to maintain competitive balance throughout all of Division One.

The first ruling may have gone "too far" and it may yet be tweaked (as soon as today), but it's been another eye-opener to watch the Harbaugh Disciples explain away the practice that - - - under today's rules - - - would be NCAA violations. These folks, and they are definitely chUMps, have been claiming that Harbaugh is holding these camps as some sort of charity event for underprivileged kids, with nothing to gain for himself or his school.

What a crock of chUMp-dUMpings!
Harbaugh is only out for himself, and he was using 
the satellite camps to promote his program.
Period. End of story.

It would be the end except for all of the chips left on the table for all of the coaches to try to grab, so there could be another interpretive change on the way regarding satellite camps. While we wait for the next move on the recruiting chessboard, here's a simple way to solve the problem for everybody.

The NCAA need only adopt what we are calling "Satellite Camp Rule #1", as outlined below. You will see it is simple and to the point, and relatively easy to enforce:

Satellite Camp Rule #1
"No player who attends a satellite camp will be eligible to play football for the school that sponsors the satellite camp."

Adoption of the above rule would allow Harbaugh to continue his "charity work" unimpeded, bringing football scholarship opportunities to kids all over the country, provided that they did not ever attend the University of Michigan. Enforcement of this rule would be easy and simple, requiring little time or attention on the part of NCAA regulatory staff. An official attendance list would be submitted to the NCAA during each camp, and the attendees would be free to attend college and play football wherever they could, except for the institution that holds the camp.

Do I think that Harbaugh would like this rule? No I don't, because I know that he is using the satellite camps to recruit during non-contact periods. But according to the chUMps, this rule wouldn't stop him because it's viewed by them as selfless charity work for the good of otherwise helpless children.

The NCAA could add one more rule, to ensure that only the most good-hearted charitable coaches will run satellite camps. This would be "Satellite Camp Rule #2":

Satellite Camp Rule #2
"Satellite Camps may only be held during open-contact 
periods for football player recruiting."

Rule #2 would ensure that the selfless charity of the coaches who run satellite camps would be socially and spiritually PURE, as coaches that run such camps would have to forgo their own team recruiting in order to do so.

We don't know what the NCAA will do next regarding satellite football recruiting camps, but we can be certain that adoption of Rule #1 and Rule #2 would quickly end any interest by Jim Harbaugh in doing them, whether he wears his shirt or not. And that would shut down the absurd claims by his lemmings that he is not out for himself when he runs these camps.


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  1. This is, by far, the clearest explanation and most creative, yet simple rules proposal I have heard. Thanks SM82

  2. This would stop those raised eyebrows around the country. It would also stop Khaki Pants from doing these charity events "for the kids".
    I am forwarding this to Joe Rexrode for further consideration.

  3. I may be misinterpreting rule #1, most of these satellite camps are held on high schools and smaller colleges. Neither Harbaugh nor the University of Michigan sponsor these camps, instead Jim is a "special guest coach" (or something to that effect). I think under that rule, universities would simply stop hosting camps.

    1. Hi Mister Bill.

      I'm not an "expert" on satellite camps, but I will continue to assume that the schools pay for them. We all understand that they are held off-site, hence the term "satellite".

      As for Harbaugh and UM, I assert the following assumptions:

      *Harbaugh does not use vacation time to work at these camps; it is considered a regular job duty for him.
      *UM pays for the costs of the camps.
      *UM pays for the costs of marketing the camps.
      *UM organizes and administers the camps.

      If none of the above assumptions were true, the NCAA would have no regulatory authority over them, they would only have authority over the presence and role of the coach in attendance. Since the original (temporary) ruling by the NCAA covered BOTH schools AND coaches, I will continue to assert these assumptions.

      And yes, like I said in the article, UM would never hold such camps under our proposed rules since he is openly recruiting during non-contact periods and only so that he can win his "prized-pancakes" at the end by signing players up for his football program.

    2. Does Michigan cover the cost of running and promoting the camps? Kirby Smart is going to attend a camp that Jeem will be at in Atlanta. Am I to assume that Michigan is paying for The Bulldogs coach to attend?

      Michigan doesn't organize, promote, or facilitate any of these camps... Although, I'm sure Jeem doesn't have to pay for his own flights.

    3. Okay, Bill, I fact-checked myself and there is some ambiguity about who pays for what in these camps. I have no doubt that UM "promoted" (the hell out of) Harbaugh's work at these camps, but it's possible that the funding sources are diffuse.

      But you're sort of taking the point off track. As soon as Harbaugh shows up at a camp, it's "his camp" and he's "recruiting". If he wants to keep up all of this "charity work", fine, just make a rule that nobody who attends a satellite camp with him "coaching" can attend his school.

      The spirit of our point carries through regardless of the details of the various funding sources.

    4. Accurate or not, an explanation offered by ESPN.

    5. Thank you 76, that's the same exact web site I just looked at an hour ago when Bill was rattling our cage. I can't track the money, but I think it is naive (at best) to think a camp where Harbaugh is the Coach is not "his camp".

      Interestingly, I find this statement in the ESPN article:

      "And you can probably thank Jim Harbaugh for making satellite camps a national topic of conversation when Michigan upped the ante on the Big Ten and other programs nationally by announcing its seven-state, nine-camp tour set for June."

      That's ESPN referring to Michigan and ITS camp tour. When Harbaugh appears, it's a "Michigan Camp".

      Most of us have no problem with a major college football head coach going somewhere to TEACH but not to RECRUIT.

    6. My apologies, I'm not trying to take it off track, I'm just trying to understand your first rule. Take the Sound Mind/Body camp, MSU, OSU, UofM, and countless other MAC level schools have coaches that attend them. Your first proposed rule would mean Dantonio and the others wouldn't be able to recruit any of the camps players.

      Using the Sound Mind/Body example: Do the Spartans, Buckeyes, Wolverines, Western's and Central's all pay for the camp?

      I get that this is satire, but it's kind of nonsensical.

      Perhaps a rule about coaches keeping their clothes on around children would be more prudent.

    7. The link that MSU76 provided, states:

      "Satellite camps simply allow college coaches to travel long distances to work as guests at camps hosted by other institutions. For instance, Penn State coaches last year were invited to attend camps at Stetson and Georgia State as instructors."

      So, the coaches are viewed as "guests" and need to be invited.

    8. OMG Bill! Agreed that coaches should remain clothed and out of kids bedrooms, etc.

      But no, this article is not "Satire", it's not labeled as such.

      And let's NOT take the SMSB camp as the example, since it's not a satellite camp and was caught in the crossfire to stop Harbaugh as collateral damage. My understanding is that SMSB is run by an independent non-profit that is not an NCAA member institution.

      Michigan announced the Summer Swarm (or storm or whatever) Tour and promoted the bee-jeezus out of Harbaugh 24/7. UM received direct benefits from sending Harbaugh to recruit off campus during a non-contact period. That should be ruled illegal.

      Every school should be allowed to keep having its ONE SUMMER CAMP on school property with compliance officials keeping an eye on what kind of contact occurs. If a coach wants to go off to other camps, he can just agree to not sign any player at that camp. FWIW, if that means Dantonio doesn't go to SMSB, that's okay with me, since he already has HIS OWN CAMP.

      (And if you want to pick on the above paragraph, as far as I'm concerned, all summer camps can be scrapped. Let independent agencies offer camps using coaches who don't currently coach a college team that recruits players. I have yet to hear one story of a great athlete that never got to play football after high school. Jerry Rice went to Mississippi Valley State, so they don't need the "Power 5" schools as much as the "Power 5" schools need them.)

    9. [Editor's Note: The two comments above should be read in reverse order as they "crossed in the mail".]

      Yes, Bill, I read the article, and it says different things at different places. The reason is that this whole situation is, in fact, CONFUSING. That's why the NCAA has stepped in. If it wasn't confusing, they would not need to step in.

      The simplicity of our proposal is that it's not confusing. The beauty of it is that it eliminates the FACADE of coaches doing "charity work" out of the "goodness of their hearts" instead of what they are really doing, which is RECRUITING.

      The NCAA prohibits contact during a long period during the summer. Coaches need to follow that rule. I ask nothing special for the coach of my favorite team. But then I didn't see my coach criss-crossing the country recruiting players during a non-contact period and claiming spiritual glory for his charitable nature.

    10. And this is really the debate that needs to come from this. You can't ban the camps because you'll damn the MAC schools or DII and III.

      I don't think Jeem did anything illegal. It was a loophole, he exploited it, and as Dantonio said "abuse breeds control."

      I think the ban was a massive overreaction, in reality just some simple oversight is all that is needed. Limit on number of camps a coach can attend, and possibly geography.

      Of course Michigan benefits from the camps, they wouldn't do it otherwise.

  4. This explains it all, in detail....

    1. Thanks for the second link. Amusing, comedic style. This article also asserts that satellite camps "help Michigan". The article does not say that satellite camps "help kids".

  5. Ban has been lifted. Seems some not exactly correct voting occurred...

    1. And again, thanks for a very recent and informative link. This ESPN article also includes the wording "Michigan conducted camps", so I'm sticking with my original assumptions.

      Bill Dunphy, it's hard to tell what your agenda is, but you seem to be claiming that UM did not run the satellite camps. You are entitled to your own thoughts.

    2. I'm not claiming Michigan didn't run the camps, Michigan didn't run the camps. The first link 76 gave us says coaches are "guests" and must be "invited." In fact that same link says that schools and coaches are prohibited from hosting camps outside of the 50 mile radius.

      So Michigan, it's coach, and anybody else affiliated with that University did not host any of the Summer Smarm Tour.

      Just facts 82, no agenda.



      This article was written by Mark Snyder of the Free Press, a man who is so deeply involved in his love affair with UM that he probably dreams of a sleepover with Harbaugh.

      In this article, Snyder refers to "Michigan's satellite camp tour" and details nearly a quarter-million dollars worth of spending, including two chartered planes, a full complement of assistant coaches and support staff.

      Snyder says "Harbaugh and staff took it to another level" by comparison to anything that anyone had done before. He said "the event's thinly veiled intent was for recruiting."

      Still confused? If so, then you can understand why the NCAA stepped in. Harbaugh exploited a loophole in the existing rules to openly and rampantly break the spirit and intent of the existing rules. All we're saying is that he can do that stuff on his own time without any chance of gaining an imbalanced competitive advantage over most other Division One programs.

      If you want to submit your proposal on how to fix the problem, go ahead. If you want to say you think it's not a problem, go ahead. I'm done explaining this to you.

    4. Roughly $212,000 spent on the Smarm Tour.

      $198,000 spent on airfare (must've chartered AirForceOne)
      $4100 on food
      $9000 on hotels.

      Wouldn't exactly call that hosting fees. You don't need to explain anything to me, you just need to understand numbers. Michigan didn't pay for the camps, I know it would be so much easier for you if they did, I'm sure the Stephen Glass in you is positive Michigan paid for the camps, but they didn't.

      I did note that Snyder refered to Michigan and ND as "hosting" which is curious.

      But, no 82, Michigan did not pay for those camps. The University paid to attend those camps, but did not pay for them, at least not in the way you want.

    5. and re-reading through your posts: Just because it's called the "Michigan's Summer Swarm Tour" does not mean it's hosted by the University. Otherwise we wouldn't be talking about banning camps we'd be talking about all the violations UofM has for hosting camps outside of their 50 mile radius.


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