Satellite camps, early signing period on agenda at ACC meetings


Satellite camps, an early signing period and academic preparedness of early enrollees are a few of the issues ACC athletic directors and football coaches agreed to discuss at the ACC spring meetings.

The two groups met Monday with the ADs telling the coaches what topics they would like the coaches to move forward on during the next two days.

“We had a list of topics that we thought were worthy of discussion but we wanted to know what they felt,” Miami coach Mark Richt said. “Was there something in there for them to say, ‘you best not even bring it up’ or ‘we’d like to know something about another topic’ that we might not have had.”

Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox listed the more urgent issues:

Satellite camps: The issue has led to some nasty exchanges between Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and coaches in the south, mostly from the SEC. Less than a month after enforcing a ban to hold camps off campus, the NCAA board of directors overturned the decision, saying it wants the Division I council, which enacted the ban, to conduct a thorough review of the entire recruiting process. ACC coaches generally fall in line with their SEC counterparts. Richt and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher both believe coaches already spend too much time away from their families and do not need to be conducting camps hundreds of miles from home during the summer.

Early signing period: The issue has been on the burner for several years. Last June, conference commissioners delayed for one year voting on a proposal that would have created a three-day signing period in December. Fisher is in favor of a summer signing period, saying that would reduce coaches’ recruiting demands during the fall and save money if part of the class was signed.

Academic preparedness: With the number of kids enrolling in January to get a jump start on their academic and football careers, Wilcox said “the concern is whether or not these kids are academically prepared to take on going to school full time and getting into spring ball.”

Graduate transfers: Wilcox said in the sports - mostly football and basketball - that accept graduate transfers, about 35 percent are actually graduating. “They end up playing but are not getting their graduate degree,” Wilcox said. “How do we make changes to that and make it better?”

Players entering the draft early: The NCAA allows basketball underclassmen who declare for the draft to return to school after attending the NBA Draft Combine and individual team workouts if they do not hire an agent. Wilcox said it was asked if this is something that should be looked at in football. “We think that creates too many issues in football and so at this point in time, I don’t think that’s going to be something that we come up with a league proposal for the NCAA.” Still, it’s just something being talked about.

The ongoing discussions about the formation of an ACC network will be a hot topic when the ADs meet with league commissioner John Swofford.

Clemson AD Dan Radakovich told The Clemson Insider last month there is a sense of urgency when it comes to a network, and the first thing Swofford thinks about every day is the ACC network.

The first year of the SEC network on ESPN generated $112 million for the conference. Sports Business Journal reported Fox will pay the Big Ten as much as $250 million per year for the right to about 25 football and 50 basketball games. Radakovich told the Clemson Insider “there is no question” the ACC worries about falling behind in rights fees without its own network.

Any AD asked about the network Monday deferred to Swofford, who is scheduled to meet with the media Thursday.


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