Jim Harbaugh vs. the NCAA rolls on, and the khaki'd one just scored a big victory.
There hasn't been a more-uttered phrase than "satellite camp" this offseason, thanks mostly to Harbaugh, who made national headlines when he took his Michigan football team down to Florida for a practice at a high school known for cranking out top talent.
Harbaugh was obviously using it as a recruiting tool, to show off his Wolverines in the fertile recruiting ground down South.
Head coaches from the SEC were not happy, calling it an infringement on their recruiting territory and lamenting what they saw as an unfair recruiting advantage.
So the NCAA sided with the SEC and banned satellite camps, a move that disappointed many coaches across college football, who argued that these camps give kids who wouldn't otherwise be able to show their abilities off to coaches from outside their immediate area. For example, a player from Texas not catching the eyes of schools from the Lone Star State and unable to drive across the country to visit schools in the Midwest and elsewhere could land a scholarship thanks to a Midwestern school coming to his area and running a satellite camp.
Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald was one of many to voice displeasure with the NCAA's decision.
Disappointed to read satellite camp news-better solutions than a ban- will hurt PSA's & Group of 5 schools. pic.twitter.com/fhmEDnn2ve— Pat Fitzgerald (@coachfitz51) April 8, 2016
The NCAA took those arguments to heart, apparently. Thursday, the NCAA Division-I Board of Directors rescinded the ban put in place by the NCAA Division-I Council, a major win for Harbaugh and other proponents of the satellite camps.
The Board of Directors also vowed to conduct a "broad assessment" of the recruiting process.
"The Board of Directors is interested in a holistic review of the football recruiting environment, and camps are a piece of that puzzle," said Board of Directors chair Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina. "We share the Council’s interest in improving the camp environment, and we support the Council’s efforts to create a model that emphasizes the scholastic environment as an appropriate place for recruiting future student-athletes."
Northwestern athletics director Jim Phillips is the chair of the Council.
"It’s clear that the membership has differing views on this subject, and the Council appreciates the Board’s insights into this important issue," Phillips said. "This review will provide an opportunity to identify the most effective ways prospective student-athletes can have their academic and athletic credentials evaluated by schools across the country."
Michigan was obviously feeling good about the news.