Big 10

Jim Harbaugh glad coaches opposed to satellite camps have ‘come around’

May 5, 2016

ANN ARBOR — Jim Harbaugh was obviously in favor of keeping satellite camps in the college football world.

And now that the NCAA has agreed with him, several of the schools and conferences who once stood against the idea have scheduled plans to join the fray themselves.

The Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference — the two most vocal leagues against the idea — announced their plans to allow camps within their own leagues hours after the NCAA overturned the Division I Council’s original ruling last month.

What’s Michigan’s head coach think about that?

“It’s good they’ve come around,” Harbaugh said Thursday. “I won’t hold that against them.

“I look forward to it. It’s collegial. I really like that about it.”

While Michigan’s actual satellite camp schedule for the month of June — and the number of camps the staff will attend — is still up in the air, Harbaugh and the Wolverines are expected to begin a camp blitz on June 2 in Atlanta.

That camp — hosted by Cedar Grove High School and held at Maynard H. Jackson HS — will also feature Kirby Smart and the University of Georgia.

Michigan is also scheduled to make stops in Alabama, Florida, Texas, Connecticut, Ohio, Virginia, California, Tennessee, Missouri and Kansas. Michigan will also be at the Sound Mind, Sound Body camp in Detroit.

How many will there be when all is said and done?

“I haven’t decided yet,” Harbaugh said.

A number of these camps, of course, will be held at or near the homes of elite prospects in the 2017 class.

Michigan will camp at Antioch High School in California, for example. That school is home to the nation’s No. 1-ranked running back, five-star prospect Najee Harris.

The Wolverines will also stop at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee — which is home to five-star athlete JaCoby Stevens.

When asked what the strategy behind camp locations is, though, Harbaugh made no mention of recruiting.

“The strategy is to introduce guys to football or reintroducing them,” he said. “Teaching the game, connecting with people. … (We’re camping at schools where there are) people we have a connection with or have met, (people who are) friends, things like that. People that ask us.

“Probably the biggest way it works is that people reach out (and want to work with us).”

Harbaugh once again reiterated how the NCAA Board of Director’s decision to overturn the camps was the right thing to do, saying it’s good for “prospective student-athletes, families, coaches and competition.”

He was also asked if he felt the entire month-long national debate over the topic had gotten out of hand in any way.

“The committee should’ve never done what they did (in the first place),” he said. “That’s my opinion.”

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