College coaches discuss satellite football camps

Georgia State football coach Trent Miles sought out Georgia’s Mark Richt and Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson to discuss the hot topic of satellite camps at Tuesday’s Peach State Pigskin Preview media event.

And it’s still a touchy subject.

Miles recently put his program in the spotlight by inviting a couple of big-name coaches from out of state to serve as guest coaches at his summer camps.

Penn State’s James Franklin will get to evaluate some of the region’s top prospects at Georgia State’s camp next week while Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly will be there next summer. In return, Georgia State will benefit from getting exposure to higher-profile recruits.

Technically, the satellite camps are permissible under the NCAA’s rules, but are against conference policies at the SEC and ACC. Neither UGA or Georgia Tech staffs can participate in summer camps away from their campuses.

Richt and Miles talked for about 15 minutes.

“I brought it up to him,” Miles said. “We visited. Mark is a great guy. He’s very intelligent. … And he understands. There’s no ill will or hard feelings at all.

“It’s legal for us. He didn’t ask us not to do it. He understands that Georgia State has to do the best thing for Georgia State. We have to try to do all we can to get our program up to par, get exposure and do the things we need to do. And what everybody understands also is that it’s great for the student-athlete to also get the exposure.”

At last week’s SEC meetings, conference coaches complained about satellite camps and agreed they’d like to see the NCAA close the loophole. Richt said it went against the spirit of the rules and he reaffirmed that stance on Tuesday.

“I mean, they (Georgia State) are doing what’s in the best interests of their program,” he said. “Everything is on the up-and-up. Everything is within the rules. I think it’s obviously good for Georgia State in his mind, so I’m happy for him.

“Our feeling as league is that we don’t go out and do that. There was an NCAA rule that said if you’re going to have a camp, it needs to be on your own campus. We believed in that and we’ve kind of put our (SEC) bylaws in alignment with that rule. By us not being able to go to camp like Georgia State or really anywhere across the country, it does tie our hands some.”

Richt also pointed out that he often invites out-of-state coaches to attend his summer camps at UGA but with one big difference.

“We invite a lot of colleges,” he said. “What they are doing at Georgia State is really no different than what we do. The difference is usually we’re Georgia and we’re in the SEC and most of the schools that come in are lower division football and they are there because there are a bunch of kids that need the opportunity to get seen. So it helps those schools and it helps those kids.

“What’s happening at Georgia State is now you have a higher-profile school doing the very same thing. It’s not really that unusual. It has been happening for years. It’s just now that a higher-profile school is now going (to the camp) of a school that is up-and-coming.

Johnson spoke to reporters before he met with Miles and said he wasn’t thrilled with the arrangement either.

“It wouldn’t be my preference, but it’s fair game if they want to do it,” Johnson said. “I don’t see how it helps them. I know how it helps Notre Dame and Penn State. I don’t know how it helps Georgia State. But if they think it helps them, more power to them.

“We can’t do that (in the ACC). Nobody will be able to … by next year. They’ll change the rule. They’re skirting the intent of the rule. That’s not what the rule was for. They know it. But they (Georgia State) didn’t ask me. I imagine I will talk to him (Miles) if they want to borrow our facility.”

Miles finally huddled with Johnson in a hallway. It went over about as well as expected.

“He (Johnson) really didn’t have much to say,” Miles said. “… I’m sure that it’s probably not ideal for them to have a big name come into Atlanta with all the big-name recruits that are around here. He sees my side and understands I’ve got to do what’s best for Georgia State.”