Georgia's Kirby Smart in demand for satellite football camps

Georgia's Kirby Smart in demand for satellite football camps

May 3rd, 2016 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during the Bulldogs' G-Day spring football game on Saturday, April 16, 2016 in Athens, Ga. (Photo by Emily Selby)

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The on-again, off-again satellite football camps are on again, but first-year Georgia coach Kirby Smart isn't planning on blanketing them.

"We've got a bunch of them that people are calling us about, but we've got to be selective," Smart told the Athens Banner-Herald before Monday afternoon's Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf event in Greensboro, Ga. "Our time is valuable, and we want kids on our campus. There is a fine line."

Southeastern Conference schools soon will have the opportunity to participate in satellite camps, which allow college coaches to travel sizable distances to work at events hosted by other institutions. Penn State assisted at a Georgia State camp in 2014, while Michigan went all over the country last summer, including a stop in Prattville, Ala.

Michigan and Ohio State will work satellite camps in the Atlanta area next month, with the Buckeyes also hoping to work one in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The SEC currently does not allow its schools to conduct satellite camps, but that ban will expire at the end of this month. The NCAA put a halt to satellite camps on April 8 but rescinded the ban last Thursday.

"I'm getting hit with a text every five minutes," Smart said. "What people don't get is that you don't have to send your whole staff. You can send one coach. You can send five coaches. We're going to have representation at a lot of them, but which ones specifically I can't tell you."

Staff members at Georgia and Michigan will be working at Cedar Grove High School on June 2, but Smart is not sure whether he will attend because of a camp going on at the same time in Athens. Bulldogs coaches also will be present a week later at the Georgia Minority Coaches Association in Stockbridge, where Auburn, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Tennessee will have representatives.

There were reports Monday night that TCU will be hosting a camp this summer that will include Alabama, Ohio State and Southern California coaches.

The Atlantic Coast Conference voted along with the SEC earlier this year to ban satellite camps. Though the camps are back on, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said his program would not participate this year.

"We will still kind of do business as usual," Swinney told the Athens Banner-Herald. "We're going to continue to have our camps at Clemson, and hopefully kids who are interested in Clemson will come and see us there. I don't need to go somewhere to evaluate a young person.

"I can do all of that, but I need them to come to Clemson to make sure it's the right match on both sides."

Smart said Georgia has a calendar that lists every satellite camp his staff knows about. There are so many, he added, that things could get diluted in a hurry.

"You want your coaches to go where the players are," Smart said. "There will be more than those two for us, but I don't know how many, and I don't know when and I don't know where."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.


Loading...