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Clemson's Dabo Swinney, Louisville's Bobby Petrino sound off on satellite camps

4/22/2015

While several Big Ten coaches have announced plans to travel the country and work satellite camps, coaches in the SEC and ACC have sounded off on what they call a "loophole" that turns camps into combines.

Neither the SEC and ACC allow their coaches to work satellite camps, and for good reasons. Coaches in both leagues are not keen on the idea. Alabama coach Nick Saban called them "ridiculous." Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and Louisville coach Bobby Petrino both said on the ACC coaches call Wednesday that they would much rather host recruits on their own campus.

"It's a loophole people are taking advantage of and I think it's something that needs to be addressed," Swinney said. "I don't think it's a good thing because ultimately what happens is instead of having camps, you're having combines. I think there's enough of that. My philosophy is we put a tremendous amount of emphasis on our campus here at Clemson. I want to get guys on this campus. That's the best part of everything that we do from a recruiting standpoint. So we can go out on the road and recruit and evaluate and do the things we need to do, but we want to get guys here to Clemson. Because we know if they come, we've got a good shot from a recruiting standpoint. It's something that will probably come to a head one way or another."

Added Petrino: "I'm not in favor of the satellite camps ... but if it continues, if they don't restrict the satellite camps, then probably we need to be able to do what everybody else can do. The idea is to bring young men to your campus, help them get better in the game of football and that's the one thing I don't like as much about camps as I used to. It's more about recruiting now and one-day camps, half-a-day camps, where it used to be about bringing a young man in and help him get better so he can be more productive in the fall. The purpose of camps has changed quite a bit."

In a phone interview earlier this week, Miami athletic director Blake James said he also remains against satellite camps but believes the NCAA must address the issue so the rules are the same for all conferences.

"It's something that has to be discussed nationwide because it's not right that you have certain conferences that are operating by one set of rules and in our case and the SEC's case, we're operated by another set," James said. "While I'm opposed to the camps, if the [NCAA] is not going to change that rule, then it will only be fair to allow our coaches to do the same type of recruiting camps, because that's what they are. Our rule that we have in place, that the SEC has in place, is the right approach. But if the NCAA is going to continue to let other conferences have those types of camps and they're coming in to our footprint, as a league we need to look at it."