Are some schools using summer football camps to get around a recruiting rule?
In an open-records request by CBS Sports, the site found Washington, Ohio State and Florida State paid over $150,000 last summer in guest camp fees. Much of that money went to pay high school coaches and other coaches with to serve as counselors at the school's camps, a practice that's becoming more and more common.
NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199(b) says a coach shouldn't be compensated based on "the value he or she may have for the employer of his or her reputation or contact with prospective student-athletes.” But by paying coaches guest coaching fees, Arizona's Rich Rodriguez told CBS that "Essentially what (schools) are doing is paying to bring prospects to their camps.”
Camps have taken off as college recruiting bases have nationalized and there's no limit to unofficial visits. From CBS:
Camps have become an excuse for the deregulation of campus visits, coaches say. NCAA rules allow players to take unlimited unofficial visits.
Many schools hosting one-day camps -- sometimes with hundreds of players, requiring additional manpower -- expect working coaches to bring players because, as one C-USA head coach points out, “you have no shot” without getting players on campus in June.
The practice of hosting "partner" camps has also become more common to get around rules prohibiting schools from hosting camps outside of their own state or a 50-mile radius.
Florida State and Ohio State each employed more than 140 coaches at their summer camps, so coaches aren't being paid handsomely. Washington had the highest average rate at approximately $1,200 per coach.
And it's not directly against the rules either. According to the compliance section on Georgia's website, the employment criteria is as follows:
• The coach is compensated at the going rate for camp counselors of like teaching ability and camp experience.
• The coach may not be paid on the basis of the coach’s reputation or contact with prospects.
• The coach may not be compensated or reimbursed based on the number of campers the coach sends or brings to the camp.
But it's easy to see how it's a win-win situation for the parties involved, even if it's possibly against the spirit of the NCAA rule listed above as it opens up channels for schools and connections with coaches who may have more recruits in the future.
Could the practice eventually be outlawed? If it becomes enough of an issue, definitely. It's already against the rules in basketball, as no coaches associated with potential recruits are allowed to coach (even on a volunteer basis) at a school camp.
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