- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- Ohio State coach Urban Meyer took aim at some of the problems he sees in college athletics during a news conference promoting the Sound Mind Sound Body Academy in suburban Detroit on Wednesday morning.
And what irked Meyer most was that high school athletes have to pay their own way to campuses for unofficial visits and camps. The NCAA allows five official visits to schools, paid for by the institutions, during an athlete's senior year.
"It is one of the problems I have now with collegiate athletics. It's almost anti-student-athlete where they have to come to us for camp," Meyer said. "How many kids can afford to fly or drive that far?
"This is so unusual, I can't believe we're allowed to do this."
The Sound Mind Sound Body Academy does what Meyer wishes would happen more. The camp, which tries to teach high school athletes about the importance of education and making smart decisions while also providing football instruction from college coaches, brought in coaches from across the Midwest.
"For us, obviously, at the University of Michigan, this is an important part of the development," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. "We want to help in the community in the Midwest and southeast Michigan and be able to come to the kids because some of them aren't fortunate enough to come to campuses. It's us trying to help kids."
Meyer expanded on Hoke's thought, criticizing the current system. He wondered if there was an easier way to accommodate athletes and recruits to mitigate travel costs.
When Meyer first heard about the camp, he actually went to his compliance office at Ohio State because he couldn't believe it was allowed under NCAA rules. Compliance told him it was, so he showed up along with the majority of his coaching staff.
"There has to be easier ways for a student-athlete to do it the right way and go visit a campus or bringing a campus to the student-athlete like what is happening today," Meyer said. "I'm sure right now they are doing the best they can to evaluate that.
"Because if the bottom line is thinking about the student-athlete first as opposed to anything else, you'll see things like this and camps open up for coaches to work with them."
The Sound Mind Sound Body Academy runs Wednesday and Thursday at Southfield High School and has coaches from Ohio State, Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Syracuse and UAB, among others, scheduled to attend.