We learned yesterday that Penn State’s James Franklin has used a loophole to set up camp right inside SEC lines.
Apparently the SEC coaches aren't too pleased with a plan hatched by one of their former colleagues, James Franklin. The new Penn State coach, formerly at Vanderbilt, and his assistants will guest coach next month at summer camps in the heart of SEC country, at Georgia State and Stetson. It means the Penn State staff can evaluate prospects from in and around Atlanta and DeLand, Fla., two SEC recruiting hotbeds.
That makes two recent SEC coaching defectors trying to invade southern territories. Urban Meyer, who has already stated he wishes the Big Ten would provide him with more of a recruiting challenge, and has already poached top SEC talent from Georgia, Florida and our own St. Louis, Missouri. Make no mistake, this is an underhanded way for Franklin to reach recruits,
Tallahassee (Florida) Godby High School offensive tackle Brendan Loftus recently told Scout.com that Penn State assistant Herb Hand invited him to the camp the Nittany Lions are attending at Stetson University in Deland.
"Attending" or "guest coaching" has just become code for "covert recruiting". This is a direct contravention of established NCAA guidelines,
NCAA Rule 184.108.40.206 limits where football programs can run high school camps. It states programs can't hold camps out of state in locations more than 50 miles from campus. And it seems like any rule these days, there is a loop hole.
In what is an obvious challenge to the SEC's second season, Big 10 coaches such as Urban Meyer and now James Franklin have launched campaigns aimed at poaching the talent rich south under the guise of "football camps". Operating with the permission of Georgia State's Trent Miles, himself a product of northern "schooling", James Franklin is "guest coaching" in the heart of Atlanta, directly undermines local coaches like Georgia's Mark Richt.
SEC rules prohibit coaches at SEC schools from "guest coaching" more than 50 miles from campus. The SEC has a proud tradition of honorable recruiting practices and coaches, notably Mark Stoops of Kentucky, Dan Mullen of Mississippi State and Hugh Freeze of Ole Miss, have spoke out against this latest affront,
"I wish it was a national rule," Freeze said. "I don't particularly want another school in a BCS conference coming into our state and running a camp. So we would like to see our rule be a national rule. I'd love to see it be the same."
You'll notice on in this heat map that SEC schools respectfully stay within their footprint, allowing Big Ten schools the luxury of having their entire sandbox to themselves
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Interesting look from <a href="https://twitter.com/CFBMatrix">@CFBMatrix</a> at where the SEC gets its talent: <a href="http://t.co/c5Dw3b2N9K">http://t.co/c5Dw3b2N9K</a> | <a href="http://t.co/CLmY6M4Dow">pic.twitter.com/CLmY6M4Dow</a></p>— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) <a href="https://twitter.com/PaulMyerberg/statuses/472140089846693888">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive has already spoken about the matter, asking the NCAA to close the loophole but it may be too little too late as Notre Dame, practically a Big Ten school when it comes to facing the SEC, is already adopting the idea.
If Mike Slive can't get the NCAA to find the error of it's ways, we may begin to see more Midwest schools begin stealing recruits and narrowing the talent disparity. If more schools want access to the recruiting pipelines of Georgia and Florida, they should realize there's only one "right way" to do it.