A bevy of new rules changes were introduced by the NCAA on Friday, the biggest of which comes in the form of the first change to the NCAA’s academic integrity approach in 33 years. However, the rule change sure to draw more attention is the banning Jim Harbaugh’s pet-project, the football satellite camps at the FBS level.
From the NCAA’s official statement:
“The Council approved a proposal applicable to the Football Bowl Subdivision that would require those schools to conduct camps and clinics at their school’s facilities or at facilities regularly used for practice or competition. Additionally, FBS coaches and noncoaching staff members with responsibilities specific to football may be employed only at their school’s camps or clinics. This rule change is effective immediately.”
The “effective immediately” part of that statement would appear to quash Harbaugh’s plans to hold satellite camps with his coaching staff this summer. Michigan coaches intended to run camps in Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Virginia and Florida this summer, and did so in several states last year, which is surely led to this rule being implemented. SEC and ACC coaches, especially, were not happy about coaches from northern schools — including Penn State’s James Franklin and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer — setting up in their recruiting territory. The SEC doesn’t allow coaches to hold camps off-campus, though several were ready to challenge that rule.
Since NCAA’s ruling requires camps to be on campus, can’t wait for Michigan to announce it’s building campuses in Tampa & Miami next year
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) April 8, 2016
Michigan nor Harbaugh has yet issued a statement in response. In the meantime, we’ll all be checking the coach’s Twitter feed to see if he at least subtweets some thoughts on the matter.
Regarding the larger part of the NCAA’s announcement, schools are now required to adhere to their rules for the entire student body when it comes to academic integrity issues, and the institutions have leeway to design their own rules without interference from the NCAA. Conduct that violates the school’s own academic misconduct policies can now become NCAA violations.
“These new rules, unanimously accepted by the Council members, will draw much brighter lines for the Division I membership in the area of academic integrity,” said Council chair James J. Phillips, vice president and director of athletics at Northwestern University. “The end result is greater accountability that begins with the school and involves the NCAA only in specific cases.”
“Specifically, the misconduct must have resulted in a falsification of the student-athlete’s academic record, involved a school’s staff member or booster, or allowed the student to compete while ineligible,” the NCAA wrote. And, some additional violations that the school’s policies may not catch could also become NCAA violations even if the school doesn’t take any action.
“The new rule defines impermissible academic assistance as academic conduct involving a staff member or booster that falls outside of a school’s academic misconduct policies, provides a substantial impact on the student-athlete’s eligibility and is not the type of academic assistance generally available to all students.”
The council also tabled a proposal that would allow NCAA events to take place in states with legalized sports gambling, effectively banning NCAA tournaments from taking place in Las Vegas, but with the new T-Mobile Arena opening in Las Vegas in the Fall, that may be changing.