ACC would support a rule prohibiting satellite football camps

ACC commissioner John Swofford said the conference will support a national rule prohibiting football programs from hosting satellite camps well beyond the NCAA's intended boundaries. However, Swofford also said if the NCAA doesn't regulate this, the ACC will be forced to reconsider its position, and will host similar camps across the country.

NCAA bylaws state that football programs must host camps either on their campus, inside their state or within a 50-mile radius of campus. The loophole allows coaches to "guest coach" or work another school's camp in order to circumvent the 50-mile radius.

Some conferences, like the Big 12 and Big Ten, allow their programs to guest coach, but the SEC and ACC bylaws prevent their coaches from doing the same.

"Right now we intend to keep our conference agreement [with the SEC] as is and push for a national rule that prohibits it," Swofford told ESPN.com on Thursday. "We just don't feel like it's a healthy part of the recruiting process in college football. We may have to ultimately reconsider it if the rules continue to allow it, because we're not going to put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting if we were to feel like we were disadvantaged, but our primary purpose right now is to try to gain support for a national rule that prohibits it."

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who is the chairman of the new Football Oversight Committee, told ESPN.com on Wednesday that the committee "will no doubt be dealing with that." Anything and everything related to college football will now be regulated through the oversight committee, including recruiting.

"We have some people who use that rule to their advantage," Bowlsby said. "It wouldn't take much, even within our conference, to get a robust debate going on. I would guess if you asked our coaches, and asked our athletic directors and presidents and chancellors, you'd probably get a mixed bag on who likes it and who doesn't like it.

"It really depends on what kind of talent pool you have in your state, it's as simple as that. If you have a strong talent pool in your state, you're just fine with having a rule that says you can't go do the satellite camps. If you have a weaker talent pool, you'd want to go to a place where they have a stronger talent pool and do a camp. It's really as simple as that."

Penn State coach James Franklin and his staff sparked the debate last year when they participated in camps at Stetson and Georgia State. Michigan issued a press release on April 14 touting nine summer football camps across the country, including stops in Florida, Texas, California and Alabama.

Outgoing SEC commissioner Mike Slive joked, "We're going to have a camp at Penn State," according to a recent report by AL.com.

Swofford said the ACC might not have a choice in the matter if its coaches are at a disadvantage.

"We would be forced to do that, I think," he said. "Having our coaches run all over to different parts of the country for recruiting purposes, it just doesn't seem to be something that we think is very healthy."