RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott says the conference’s representative on the NCAA’s Division I Council did not vote the league’s position when the council banned so-called satellite football camps this month.
After attending a College Football Playoff meeting Wednesday, Scott told reporters 11 of 12 Pac-12 members were in favor of allowing coaches to participate in camps for high school players on other school’s campus. But UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero, the Pac-12’s council representative, voted to ban satellite camps.
The Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference made separate proposals banning guest coaching at camps. The ACC’s version passed by a 10-5 vote. The Big Ten was the only Power Five conference to vote against the ban. The Power Five conferences’ votes count for two. The other five FBS conferences’ votes count one.
If the Pac-12 had voted with the Big Ten and all the other votes remained the same, the proposed ban would have passed 8-7.
Scott would not say which of the conference’s 12 members was not in favor of allowing the camps. “Draw your own conclusions,” he added.
In an email obtained by the AP late Wednesday night, Guerrero explained his decision to vote for the ACC’s proposal after the Pac-12 agreed that it did not want a ban.
Guerrero wrote that going into the council meeting, “it was the feeling of many members of the D1 Council that the proposals would be tabled at the request of the (football oversight committee).”
The Pac-12, like the Big Ten, wanted satellite camps dealt with as part of a larger, more comprehensive examination of issues related to football recruiting by the oversight committee.
Instead, the oversight committee supported passing one of the two proposals. The SEC’s proposal differed from the ACC’s in that it did allow schools to hold their own camps within 50 miles of campus, which matches the current SEC rule. The ACC’s proposal banned holding camps off-campus and guest coaching at other campuses.
The Pac-12 does not allow schools to hold their own camps off campus.
In his email, Guerrero said his priority became trying to make sure the SEC’s proposal did not pass because it would have put the Pac-12 at a disadvantage compared to other conferences. He also wrote that he felt the ACC’s proposal would have passed regardless of the Pac-12’s vote.
The Pac-12 holds spring meetings in Phoenix next week.
“I don’t think the story is done,” Scott said. “I think there will be more conversation about it.”
Scott said satellite camps have worked fine out West.
“We have not been hosting official school camps outside our territory, but our coaches have been allowed to participate in other people’s camps and it has not been out of control. It has worked fine,” he said.
The Board of Governors still has to approve the council’s vote next week.
Big Ten schools, most notably Michigan and Penn State, started making frequent visits to schools in the South to guest coach at prospect camps. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh did an expansive satellite camp tour last year and had another one planned this year until the ban was put into place.
Big Ten leaders say the camps give exposure to high school players, allowing them to be seen and coached by coaches from many schools at one camp. Coaches from Group of Five campuses such as the Mid-American Conference and the Sun Belt would frequently attended camps held at bigger schools as a way of scouting players that they might not have had a chance to see in person otherwise.
The SEC and ACC have conference-wide bans on guest coaching and contend the satellite camps were used mainly for recruiting purposes outside the regulated evaluation times.
“The camps had gone in an unhealthy direction, and I’m pleased that the council made the decision,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. “I think it’s entirely appropriate. To the extent that we’ve got more work to do on summer recruiting activities in football, so be it, but let’s not continue to go down a direction that is becoming more and more unhealthy. I hope the board will honor the council’s decision.”
AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Irving, Texas, contributed to this report.
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