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Kentucky Wildcats Football: Satellite Camps Banned

This hurts Kentucky regardless of Mark Stoops' view as of least last summer.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, news broke the NCAA had banned satellite camps. This decision, couched perfidiously as "academic integrity" will undoubtedly hurt prospects. A large number of prospects come from lower income households, and can't make unofficial visits to universities to judge for themselves whether they vibe with a far-flung coaching staff. Satellite camps enabled interaction on both sides.

This also hurts states that aren't rich with talent, of which, Kentucky is one. The Commonwealth will produce 10-15 FBS-quality recruits every year, and roughly a third of those may reach blue chip status. That's not a reliable in-state recruiting base.

The University of Kentucky, and other "resource-poor" ones should want these camps. Within the SEC that would include Kentucky, Arkansas, and Missouri. Beyond them, I'm sure the staff's at Ole Miss and Texas A&M would want to spend some time in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

The big schools will not be holding camps in Kentucky, so UK's in-state talent is no more threatened from being poached than previously. I suppose there's an argument SEC, ACC, and PAC-12 schools would have held camps in Ohio to the detriment of Kentucky. That's certainly possible, but UK's connections to Ohio are deep. They've identified players who are entering their sophomore years already. They can get those kids down to Lexington easier than the competition.

Alas, the SEC, and every other conference besides B1G, voted against satellite camps. It's unclear how that breakdown went across individual SEC schools, but what we do know UK's stance at least as of last summer. At that time, Mark Stoops was inexplicably against satellite camps. He said, "If this doesn’t change on a national level, then you’ll see everyone of us out there in full force all over the country...If that’s what we want to do nationally...then we’ll be glad to partake in that...We are opposed to it." Furthermore, Mitch Barnhardt agreed with Stoops and the SEC's position.

This statement led me to say the following, among other things, over at TSK last summer:

Finally, Mark Stoops' stance is incorrect because it's a strategic miscalculation for his program unlike other SEC programs. Under Stoops, Kentucky has exploited the talent rich state of Ohio, but has had less success in the South. If the SEC were to allow satellite camps, Kentucky -- and other SEC football programs not located in talent-rich states like Georgia, Louisiana, or Florida -- would benefit by building relationships with recruits who previously had no plans to visit their campuses.

Stoops and his staff have proven they are capable of recruiting successes despite the state of the program, which suggests they would make inroads at camps in places like Florida, Alabama, or South Carolina. Recruits from those areas may not have initially wanted to go to the trouble to visit Lexington, but after getting to know UK's staff that could easily change going by recent recruiting successes.

One would hope UK officials have changed their minds in the last year, but were overruled. One would also hope UK's decision to support this terrible policy was the result of knowing the motion would pass in the SEC, and instead of being a thorn in everyone's side and rebelling, just went with the crowd. Yet, UK is not acting rationality, or in its self-interest, in direct violation of any number of game theories.