NCAA satellite camp ban draws ire of Justice department


After receiving a barrage of complaints from organizers of football satellite camps, the Department of Justice has called an informal inquiry into the banning of satellite camps instituted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The department had a consultation with members of the college administration, conference commissioners and coaches of football teams to reach a compromise between different stakeholders.

SEC and ACC are the factions of NCAA responsible for the policy's initial passage in the first place. These groups pushed for the ban because of the multiple violations Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh has done in the past few years.

For their part, supporters of satellite camps are deeply opposed to the ruling as it disenfranchises school teams that are not part of the power-conference structure and schools from the top football conferences. It will also mean less scholarship opportunities for students of lesser-known high schools.

It should be remembered that the Division I Council of the NCAA decided through a vote on April 8 that satellite camps be shut down, USA Today reported.

This is not the first time that the NCAA decided to implement a controversial policy. Previously, the body passed a policy that disallowed camps from being organized 50 miles from their own campuses. Many schools, however, were able to tiptoe around the policy's provisions through a loophole by participating in the camps as guest participants and coaches.  

Recently, the Division I Council backed down on the decision after a closer look on the situation, Yahoo Sports reported.

NCAA has described football camps and clinics as increasingly being "viewed as a recruiting tool" and as places used to find precocious amateur football talent.  

"Some coaches broaden their recruiting reach by working at camps held by other schools, including Football Championship Subdivision schools," the NCAA statement said. 

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