The NCAA policy-making Division 1 council last Friday announced a ruling that effectively shuts down off campus satellite camps for all FBS-level schools. No longer can D-1 schools leave campus to host satellite camps, nor can they attend other satellite camps.
The entire off-campus satellite camp became a major issue last summer when Michigan and head coach Jim Harbaugh held 10 satellite camps in nine days, including stops in Florida, Texas and California. Several Power Five conferences --most notably the SEC and ACC-- publicly complained about the camps since both conferences already had rules in place banning schools from hosting any satellite camps. Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald also voiced his displeasure at the NCAA satellite camp ban on his Twitter account
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
So what will the immediate impact be regarding the banning of these camps? Sadly, it will be felt at the high school player level, and in particular, it'll impact student-athletes who won't have the means to travel from camp to camp.
For example, Illinois will no longer be able to host satellite camps from one end of the state to the other. NIU and head coach Rod Carey will no longer be able to utilize Chicago's Gately Stadium for a similar camp. Both of these schools used these camps to find loads of talent over the past several years. But there's also a secondary loss here: these off-site camps also served as a nice way for the football programs to get out into the community and build some excitement for the school.
How will this impact Northwestern? While Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats didn't leave campus for its summer camps, NU has regularly hosted the Chicagoland Showcase, arguably one of the most successful and cost-effective camps in the state. The Chicagoland Showcase attracts hundreds of college assistant coaches which, up until this year, would include several D-1 schools -- most notably Mid-American Conference schools. Year in and year out, multiple names had been "discovered" at the Showcase camp.
Marist three-star inside linebacker recruit Micah Awodiran (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) readily admits that the Northwestern Showcase camp put him on the recruiting map.
"I was introduced to several of the top assistant D-1 level coaches in the country at the Showcase camp," Awodiran said. "I met a ton of coaches and I was able to pick up my first few D-1 offers because of that camp. It will impact a lot of guys coming up now."
The Northwestern Chicagoland Showcase camp will continue this summer, yet the overall impact of the camp will undoubtedly be a bit less crowded without D-1 coaches in the crowd.
[SHOP: Get your Northwestern gear]
Parents will also suffer the brunt of the new NCAA rule on satellite camps. Parents and high school prospects will now need to travel from one D-1 school to the next. Just the travel cost alone will discourage many players and families from attending certain camps.
"The camps are a huge opportunity for kids," Awodiran added. "Kids with limited money had a chance to be seen by a ton of schools. Now they will be very limited in which camps they can go to, if they can even go to any of them now."
It will be interesting to see if the in-state FCS level schools could benefit from their own satellite camps. Schools such as Southern Illinois and Western Illinois have hosted satellite camps in the past and both have Chicagoland satellite dates set for this summer.