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SEC schools preparing to host satellite camps

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M football coach Kevin Sumlin said the Aggies and other conference teams are preparing as if satellite football recruiting camps will become a reality this summer for SEC teams.

Last May, at its spring meetings, the SEC proposed legislation that would eliminate head coaches from “guest coaching” at satellite or recruiting camps throughout the country. At this point, the ACC and the SEC are the only Power 5 conferences that don’t allow head coaches from working high school or college camps off their campuses. The SEC confirmed to Bleacher Report recently their proposal will come to a vote at the NCAA’s Division I council meetings this week in Indianapolis. If the SEC’s proposal doesn’t pass, the league’s prohibition against these camps is set to expire on May 29.

With the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 allowing satellite camps, Sumlin said SEC coaches anticipate the league’s proposal not to pass, so the Aggies have already made plans for their own camps outside of Texas.

“Our commissioner (Greg Sankey) has spoken and said if it’s not revised or revoked, then we’re going to be able to do it,” Sumlin said Monday.

“I know there are a number of SEC programs that are set and ready to go if it happens. We will have satellite camps outside of the state. We’re ready to go. They’re already on the calendar. We’ve got some tentative dates and locations set, so that if things go a certain way, we can be prepared to go. We’re not the only SEC team that’s doing that, too.”

Satellite camps have been a hot-button issue in the recruiting world for the past five years and Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 teams have them all over the country, but they reached national awareness after Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh conducted an eight-day “Summer Swarm” tour in 2015 that took the Wolverines' deep into SEC recruiting territory. Numerous SEC coaches were outspoken about Michigan’s camps and pushed conference administrations to get the NCAA legislation changed or allow them to have their own camps.

“It’s has to be all or nothing for us,” Sumlin said. “It’s either we join what everybody else is doing with the satellite camp situation and we move on from there, or we don’t and nobody does them. Either we do it like everybody else or nobody does.”

Sumlin wouldn’t say exactly where the A&M is planning to host satellite camps but expect Louisiana, a key recruiting territory for the Aggies. California and Arizona are other possibilities because they are areas A&M focuses heavily on.