NCAA President Mark Emmert said a lot of different things on Thursday morning. Some of those things were important, while others weren't. File this under important.
For awhile now, the ACC and SEC have been calling for a revision of the NCAA's rules around "satellite camps" -- football camps, hosted by college coaches for high school prospects. Current rules say that a school can't HOST a camp outside of a 50-mile radius around its campus. But there are no current stipulations about "guest coaching." The ACC and SEC have specific language that forbids it. The Big Ten and Big 12 do not, and take full advantage of that. This presents a problem that the NCAA plans to address in oversight committee meetings very soon.
According to a conversation with ESPN's Heather Dinnich on Thursday, ACC commissioner John Swofford is ready to support a rule to more strictly regulate these camps, but is also willing to roll with the punches if the NCAA fails to get enough support for such a ruling:
"Right now we intend to keep our conference agreement [with the SEC] as is and push for a national rule that prohibits it. We just don't feel like it's a healthy part of the recruiting process in college football. We may have to ultimately reconsider it if the rules continue to allow it, because we're not going to put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting if we were to feel like we were disadvantaged, but our primary purpose right now is to try to gain support for a national rule that prohibits it."
Those 28 schools are a powerful block, especially when it comes to some of college football's major brands. The agreement allows for schools to all stay out of one anothers' territory, and give both the ACC and SEC their own unique spheres of influence in which to conduct camps. Clemson and Louisville have both expressed support for further regulation. Unfortunately, Notre Dame, the Big Ten and Big 12 have not. From what I can gather, looks like the Pac-12 doesn't allow their coaches to conduct these camps either at the moment. That makes 40 against and 25 for, if we assume ND can vote apart from the ACC in football matters.
So should Syracuse want more regulation here, or less? What would really help us the most?
Honestly, I'm torn. The Orange are on an island in the ACC up in New York, and that allows us to keep the other ACC AND SEC schools out of local camps. But it hasn't stopped those schools from recruiting players from our state anyway. Of the top 10 New York prospects in 2015, just two went to SU. The rest? Michigan, Ole Miss, UConn, Rutgers and Boston College. So maybe letting those other schools in a bit more wouldn't be the worst thing for us...
And what of the other side of the coin? What can Syracuse do to increase its profile outside of its immediate footprint with these football camps? Well, a lot, actually. Right now, the sell for the Florida and Georgia kids we've been going after is "hey, we play in the same conference as schools down here." Now, it's the same sell, but with more facetime and a larger offseason presence in the area. Suddenly, Syracuse being down South doesn't seem so weird to kids, and it almost feels familiar. Perhaps that creates an uptick. Perhaps it doesn't. But it might be worth a shot...
We'll see what happens with the oversight committee vote -- the ACC's only member there is Miami AD Blake James. Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt is also there, and you'd assume if the SEC stands its ground, he'll be voting in favor of further regulation. The small-school make-up of a lot of other voters could also help the ACC and SEC's cases, since they'd likely want to keep larger schools out of their far-off outposts too.
Maybe we should want this thing to get de-regulated a bit, but for now, SU will just have to fall in line with the league and be prepared for whatever outcome we get.