One of the offseason's more annoying controversies has been about "satellite camps". If a college or high school holds a football camp, it can invite coaches from other schools to be on hand. As a result, you get things like Michigan's Jim Harbaugh doing a tour of camps in some of the nation's key recruiting grounds.
The SEC (and ACC) has a rule prohibiting coaches from visiting camps more than 50 miles away from campus. Other conferences have no such rule, which allows Harbaugh to go barnstorming through the sun belt. SEC coaches have spoken out against these camps over the past few months, complaining A) that Big Ten schools are getting an unfair advantage in recruiting, and that B) everyone should play by the same rules with regards to camps.
At this week's annual SEC meetings, the conference decided to finally stop talking about it and do something:
The SEC announced Tuesday that it will propose national legislation that would limit ''institutional staff members to participating in camps and clinics on their own campus.''
Also a hot button issue is graduate transfers, as the SEC has more stringent rules about who can transfer in than other conferences do. We saw that in the coverage of Everett Golson, where reports had to put a caveat about the conference's rules when talking about him going to an SEC school while not having to for his eventual destination, the ACC's Florida State. Several coaches have been quoted this week on these matters, but the one to get the most attention was Nick Saban:
''It's a disadvantage not to be able to do something in one league and be able to do it in another,'' Saban said. ''It's a disadvantage to be able to recruit a player in one league and not be able to do it in another. And it's also a disadvantage if you start bringing up things like if a player gets suspended or whatever from one school, he can't transfer to another. Well, these things need to be global. Otherwise, we're going to become a farm system for all the other leagues."
Saban is the league's most visible coach, and (if he wants to) he'll answer the questions the press asks him. That said, I can think of five reasons why he should not be the conference's de facto spokesman on these matters: this, this, this, this, and this.
It's hard enough for the SEC to sell a line about it being at some kind of competitive disadvantage as it is. If the guy who has five consecutive No. 1 recruiting classes is the one out in front, particularly on the matter of the satellite camps allegedly eroding the conference's recruiting ability, then the league's agenda is going to go nowhere nationally.