Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze glad not to have satellite camps

Daniel Paulling
The Clarion-Ledger
Coach Hugh Freeze and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy talk before the 2016 Sugar Bowl. Freeze had planned to cohost a satellite camp with Gundy in Dallas and Houston.

OXFORD - Coach Hugh Freeze will need to find some new summer plans.

He had intended to participate in satellite camps in Dallas and Houston with Oklahoma State and in Atlanta and possibly on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with Missouri, but the NCAA’s Division I Council voted Friday to ban such camps for FBS coaches effective immediately.

These camps offered high school athletes a cost-effective way to be seen by college coaches in an effort to earn a scholarship or receive coaching over the summer. These coaches would also have a chance to judge a player’s frame, something that can't always be done watching video.

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“I understand there’s one side of the fence that says, ‘Well, it could cost kids opportunities,’” Freeze said. “There’s the other side of the fence that it could’ve been a total circus that would put so much pressure on these kids because you might have 50 camps in Atlanta or Dallas.”

Satellite camps rose in prominence in recent years after several programs, including Michigan and Penn State, began conducting them outside of their geographic footprint. Schools from certain Power 5 conferences had been allowed to conduct camps solely in their state unless their coaches served as “guest instructors” at a satellite camp set up by another school.

The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference banned their coaches from working at such camps outside  a 50-mile radius from their campus.

Athletes will now have to travel to the campus of each school they’re interested in to work with coaches in camps, which can be a costly process. Freeze believes actually seeing the campus is an important part of the recruiting process, however.

But Freeze being willing to coach at camps in Georgia and Texas shows how much impact they can have in recruiting. He’s happy, however, to have a chance to spend more time at home.

“I’m selfish with my time,” he said. “I’m away from my family enough, and I just did not want to go. I was ready to. We would’ve jumped in with the rest of them and gone to work. But I’m glad we can have a camp and I can sleep at home.”

Contact Daniel Paulling at dpaulling@jackson.gannett.com. Follow @DanielPaulling on Twitter.