Saban-Harbaugh Satellite Camp Debate Fueling Big Ten-SEC Rivalry

Jim Harbaugh has proved he is willing to think outside of the box when it comes to recruiting and getting the best talent to become Wolverines.

Whether it’s sleepovers with top recruits, satellite camps, or signing day parties featuring some of UM’s most successful athletes, Harbaugh has done things in the recruiting world that have never before been implemented.

However, none of Harbaugh’s recruiting tactics have caused waves across the college football world like the recently reinstated satellite camps.

Since¬†Harbaugh’s arrival in Ann Arbor, we’ve seen verbal spats between Harbaugh and SEC coaches regarding whether allowing satellite camps to exist was the best idea for the game.

Nick Saban is one of the SEC coaches that has been opposed to these type of camps from day one, saying consistently that satellite camps are bad for the game.

At one point last offseason, SEC schools were banned from participating in satellite camps while Big Ten schools were permitted, so naturally this caused friction between the two conferences.

Earlier this week, Nick Saban went on a classic Saban rant while being questioned about Satellite camps, and the effect they have on college football, and more specifically his Alabama Crimson Tide.

Harbaugh responded to Saban’s comments in a way we’ve become all to familiar with, via tweet.

Both coaches have their stance, and neither seem prepared to back down on their stance anytime soon.For Harbaugh, it is giving him the opportunity to recruit nationally, showing his face to kids who may never get a chance to see it otherwise. It gives an opportunity, and for some kids that one opportunity is all they need to prove their worth. As much as Harbaugh preaches satellite camps giving kids an opportunity, Saban is right, it is simply all about recruiting and getting the Michigan brand out their nationally, not just in the midwest.

Saban argued that high schools are benefiting from using the name of schools such as Michigan and Alabama in order to draw more kids to their camps and make more money. In my opinion, this is exactly right. High schools do benefit from having powerhouse programs host satellite camps in order to promote their camps to the public.

Where I differ from Saban, however, is seeing this as an issue for Alabama or any other institution. Yes, the high schools are benefitting from using the college’s name, but the college program is also benefitting by having access to kids it may never have seen before. It is a win-win situation for both.

On Wednesday, June 1, Michigan held a satellite camp on rival turf. Springfield High School in Springfield, Ohio, less than 50 miles from Columbus, hosted Harbaugh and staff Wednesday evening. Being a Springfield Alum myself, I was lucky enough to attend.

Current Arkansas and former Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielema brought up the thought of a Big Ten/SEC challenge. Who wouldn’t mind seeing these two coaching giants face off in that scenario?