By JERAMY STOVER, Sports Editor
This past Friday, the National Collegiate Athletics Association put a ban on the use of satellite camps, effective immediately.
The Division-I Council approved a proposal that requires schools to “conduct camps and clinics at their school’s facilities or at facilities regularly used for practice or competition.”
This puts clamps on the imaginative mind of one Jim Harbaugh. The head coach of the University of Michigan football team planned to take his staff to Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, Florida and Texas for a series of camps throughout the summer.
Much like he did last summer in what was dubbed the “Summer Swarm Tour,” when the Wolverines coaching staff visited schools in Alabama, Florida, Texas, Indiana, Pennsylvania and California.
Concluding the tour last season, Michigan received a handful of commitments that included Brandon Peters, Kingston David, David Bush Jr. and David Long.
But now these “tours” will no longer exist, at least in the fashion they once were. No longer will Harbaugh be able to step foot at a distant high school and take his shirt off to play football with potential recruits.
We can sit here for hours and argue why the NCAA choose to take this action. Sure, a part of it is that the Southeastern Conference didn’t want teams from the north, such as Michigan and Ohio State, poaching the talent in their part of the country.
But the question of why did the NCAA ban satellite camps isn’t the main question. Because that won’t change the future — the ban will stay and people will have to learn to live with it.
The real question is, what will Harbaugh do next to juke around the governing body of his sport?
This is the man who took recruiting to new heights, from his “Summer Swarm” tour to taking his team down to Florida for practice over spring break — which some coaches have voiced concerning opinions about as well.
This is a coach who has spent the night at not just one, but two recruits’ houses. A tactic that may seem odd to the common man — but it was a way of business for a not-so-common man.
This is a guy who turned signing day at his school into a show filled with ESPN personalities, famous alums, and Ric Flair.
Jim Harbaugh hasn’t just re-energized the Michigan football program, he’s revolutionized the college football landscape.
He’s made other coaches think about doing things they’ve never thought of. He’s made other programs feel uneasy, yet urgent to go bolder.
Hell, you can make the argument Harbaugh himself made the NCAA change a rule in just his second year back in the college ranks.
The ban on satellite camps will slow Harbaugh down, for now. But soon enough he’ll find another way to get ahead of the competition.