By CODY WORSHAM
Tiger Rag Editor
An overturned NCAA ban that lasted all of three weeks allows college programs to run and attend satellite camps all across the country.
Les Miles is content to keep things close to home.
LSU will focus its summer satellite camps efforts with a “Louisiana first” approach, hosting a majority of its June camps in Louisiana, branching out only into Texas, for now, with stops in Houston and Dallas. Miles says 75-80 percent of his roster comes from Louisiana, so that’s how he wants to divide his summer camp time.
“Philosophically, we want to be Louisiana first,” Miles said. “Our first nine days (of June camps) will be in the state of Louisiana. We won’t leave the state until we’ve delivered a camp north, south and certainly on our campus.”
LSU kicks things off June 2 in Bossier City, its first satellite camp. LSU then heads to New Orleans to partner with the Saints. LSU’s other two satellite camps are in Houston and Dallas — a partnership with UT-San Antonio and head coach/former LSU assistant Frank Wilson — on June 13 and 14, respectively. These are in addition to LSU’s regular camps hosted on its campus, the full schedule for which appears at LSUCamps.com.
“We want to get around and raise the level of understanding of technique and football in this state,” Miles said. “We want to create relationships around the state, and in North Louisiana certainly, as we serve them.”
The new rule also opens the door for in-state schools to partner with LSU and attend the Tigers’ camps hosted in Baton Rouge. Miles said ULL, ULM, Louisiana Tech, McNeese, Southeastern, Southern, Grambling, Northwestern State, Nicholls and Louisiana College would be the colleges participating, saying Tulane — who is hosting camps in Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport with Texas A&M — “didn’t necessarily want to participate.”
“We want to serve this state,” said Miles. “(The 10 partnering in-state schools) have a vested interested in the state of Louisiana. They want to be at a place where there’s going to be as many as 400 plus prospects and have the ability to watch them, see them perform, instruct them, see how they learn. Being around and representing another college is certainly positive.”
- CAREFULLY CRITICAL: Miles has made it clear he’s not a fan of the new rules that allow colleges to extend their camp presences into other states, saying that only a government intervention through the Department of Justice and concerns regarding the Sherman Antitrust Act over collusion forced the NCAA’s hand in reversing the ban. “I don’t think the rule was put in place with a long term view in mind,” said Miles. “There’s going to be man power needed, it’s going to be expensive, hours you are away from your team…I personally enjoy being around my team.
MORE STAFF NEEDED: The demand of a more rigorous camp schedule in the summer led Miles to agree with a question that staffs should be able to expand from nine to 10, with perhaps a specific person whose job is solely camp organization. “There might be a guy who handles just your satellite camps,” he said. “There’s a lot of places to recruit to.”
WHAT’S THE RATIONALE? On the general topic of in-state schools partnering with out-of-state powers (i.e., Tulane + Texas A&M) for camps, Miles said the marriage didn’t make sense to him, nor does he see the value in Power 5 schools teaming up together. “I don’t know that they’re going to get out of that what they want. If you’re an in-state school, you want that prospect that might just fall out of view of the SEC caliber. If there’s a bunch of SEC schools in here, it’s likely at some point in time they take one of their prospects. It’ll be interesting to see. I don’t see that as being good for the great number of schools in this state.”
- MORE LOCATIONS TO COME? Miles noted that LSU nearly agreed to a camp location in Florida, and could still come to that agreement, saying the schedule is not yet finalized.