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WSU coaches blast NCAA for banning satellite camps

The NCAA has officially banned FBS programs from participating in satellite camps, and the Washington State coaching staff isn't too happy about it.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday the NCAA passed down a ruling that immediately put an end to satellite camps. While the Pac-12 voted to ban the camps, there is definitely some dissatisfaction with the new limitations that have been put into place.

Satellite camps provide institutions with an opportunity to travel, as guests, to participate at college and high school football camps outside their allotted recruiting areas. WSU head coach Mike Leach voiced his disapproval of the new rule to the Seattle Times and believes the camps are in the best interest of student athletes.

"It appears that selfish interests of a few schools and conferences prevailed over the best interests of future potential student athletes," Leach told the Times. "The mission of universities and athletic programs should be to provide future student athletes with exposure to opportunities, not to limit them. It appears to me that some universities and conferences are willing to sacrifice the interests of future student athletes for no better reasons than to selfishly monopolize their recruiting bases.

"I will be fascinated to hear any legitimate reasoning behind this ruling. We need to rethink this if we are actually what we say we are."

Leach wasn't the only WSU coach to disagree with the NCAA's new rule. Linebackers coach Ken Wilson took to Twitter to slam the NCAA.

But why are WSU coaches so upset? How does this ban effect them?

According to, WSU has traveled to California each of the last two summers to visit various high school football camps, and the plan was to do the same thing this June. But due to the new rule, WSU will not be able to participate and will not be able to get a first look or even one look in general at potential recruits.

15 of the 25 members of WSU's 2016 recruiting class are from California, and likely caught WSU's eye during these summer tours of the state. And the NCAA's rule just isn't going to affect how WSU recruits in California, it's going make recruiting in Washington more difficult as well.

WSU will not be allowed to work at any camp that is further than 50 miles from Pullman, although it is unclear if camps hosted by independent parties, rather than institutions, are also banned.

This means completely limits the Cougars' ability to get in front of recruits and make impressions on recruits in western Washington. If you are interested in what city or towns are within 50 miles of Pullman click here. WSU will still have the option to host camps and invite athletes, but it is often difficult for potential recruits to find the time to travel and funds to make their way to Pullman.

The NCAA abolished satellite camps because they were viewed (correctly or incorrectly) by some institutions as essentially a loop hole for college recruiters to take over recruiting areas that belong to other schools. The rule was also created to protect an institution's rights to the concentration of top athletes nearest to them, which is especially of concern to schools in the South, but also in California -- likely why the Pac-12 sided with the SEC in this rule change.

And the rule makes sense when Tuscaloosa is just over a 150 miles from Auburn, and College Station is 100 miles from Austin. But for teams like the Cougars, who's recruiting hotbed is out of state, the ban could have a significant impact.

Whether or not the rule is good or bad for the NCAA is up for debate. But one thing is for certain, WSU is going to have to get creative and find new ways to engage with potential recruits, in Washington and across the nation.


WSU coach Mike Leach slams NCAA over ruling to ban satellite football camps | The Seattle Times
The NCAA banned all satellite camps on Friday, effective immediately, when it ruled that all FBS programs would only be allowed to conduct clinics at their school facilities or at facilities regularly used for competition. This effectively means Washington State will no longer be allowed to conduct its annual football summer camp circuit for high school players in the state of California.

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