Penn State, Notre Dame setting up satellite camps in SEC’s backyard; SEC coaches not happy

NCAA Football: Penn State-Spring Game

One interesting discussion point this week at the SEC’s spring meetings is the NCAA loophole that allows coaches from different schools to ‘guest coach’ on their turf.

Two schools are setting up shop in the SEC’s backyard: Penn State and Notre Dame. The Nittany Lions’ coaching staff will be guests of Georgia State football camp in mid-June and also Stetson University in Deland, Florida. Notre Dame is setting up camps with Georgia State in 2015, according to a report, further penetrating their national brand into SEC country.

Franklin is familiar with the Southeast, having coached at Vanderbilt, and Brian Kelly is not shy about wanting the Irish’s brand in Georgia. He even talked about it on a podcast with Bruce Feldman recently.

By being strategic and smart, it allows both of these programs to have one-on-one time with prospects in the South they may not be exposed to otherwise; it allows them to create personal relationships, much like their own football camps every year. Only this time it will be in SEC country.

SEC coaches expectantly weren’t too happy about it, and they want the NCAA’s ‘guest coaching’ loophole closed. It was a topic of discussion this week. The NCAA’s bylaws actually prevent schools from setting up camps outside their home state, thus the loophole of the ‘guest coaching’ role.

Oddly, the SEC has a rule that prohibits coaches from being ‘guest coaches’ outside a 50-mile radius of the campus, and SEC coaches hope the NCAA adopts the radius nationwide.

“I wish it was a national rule,” Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said at the spring meetings. “I don’t particularly want another school in a BCS conference coming into our state and running a camp. So we would like to see our rule be a national rule. I’d love to see it be the same.”

“It continues to be more of an issue,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said this week.

“There have been a lot of schools doing that for years,” Georgia football coach Mark Richt said Wednesday during SEC spring meetings. “The spirit of that (NCAA) rule is not to have satellite camps all over the place.”

Just look at the rankings. The best prospects – although not all – come from southern states, and that’s an added built-in advantage other conferences want to tap into.

Should the NCAA not adopt the SEC’s 50-mile radius rule, the SEC could — or should — drop it altogether and have the ability to ‘guest coach’ at other schools. Mike Slive said the SEC would have to approach the NCAA about it.

“It’s that kind of thing that gets us to think about our rules,” Slive said. “They [SEC coaches] like our rule; they don’t like the so-called satellite camps. They see it as a loophole and asked us to see what we can do about that.”

Photo Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

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