I've been resisting wading into the issue of the NCAA's recent decision to place a ban on satellite camps. Why, you may ask? Is it because it is a technical issue that many people don't understand? No. Is it because the impact on the Huskies is not very clear? Not really. Is it because I have blind faith in the wisdom and judgment of current NCAA grand poobah and former UW President Mark Emmert? Absolutely not.
For those that are not keeping up with this news, the NCAA Board of Governors recently adopted a proposal put forth by the ACC that bans schools from hosting football camps away from main campus and bars their coaches from participating in camps that are not hosted at their school. The rule has been widely panned and is viewed as a way for southeast schools to cordon off their fertile recruiting grounds from programs that have the resources to recruit at a national level. Think Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and USC, for example. You may have heard that Jim Harbaugh thought the rule was bogus.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh spoke to SI and ripped the recent vote to ban satellite camps in college football. https://t.co/MX5innXp18— john r. ghindia (@jrgteam) April 13, 2016
The truth is that I've avoided the issue of satellite camps because I couldn't think of any kind of interesting angle to bring to the blogosphere. That time has passed.
News broke this week that the PAC-12's delegate to the NCAA Board of Governors meeting voted in his own interest and against the unanimous sentiment of all eleven other institutions when he supported Rule 2015-59, which effectively banned any NCAA head coach from working a camp away from his own campus. UCLA AD Dan Guerrero was, apparently, the only AD in the PAC-12 who thought that such a rule was a good idea. When he got the chance to vote against the wishes of his PAC-12 colleagues, he took it.
What in the name of holy unbound delegates is going on with the PAC-12?
Guerrero, in his own defense, sent an email to his colleagues - somehow miraculously leaked to SI's Stewart Mandel - that "explained" his logic in supporting Proposal 2015-59 (by the way, doesn't the Board of Governors realize that we are now in the year 2016? And, on that subject, what were the first 58 proposals all about?). According to the UCLA AD, he was presented with an option of supporting 2015-59 or a competing proposal creatively labeled "Proposal 2015-60") offered by the SEC. In his view, 59 was preferable to 60 because it more closely mirrored existing PAC-12 rules. Therefore, goes the logic, it was the lesser of two evils when it came to placing restrictions on the PAC-12 participating in satellite camps.
Here is the email that Guerrero sent out explaining his unexpected vote:
This is the e-mail Guerrero sent to his fellow ADs on April 13. pic.twitter.com/GJ1CkbfrX7— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) April 21, 2016
Here is the full text of his email should you not wish to read Tweet:
Dear Pac-12 colleagues,
Recognizing the inquiries made to the Pac-12 Conference office about the decision rendered at NCAA Division 1 Council meeting this past week to pass Proposal 2015-59, ending "satellite camps", I thought it best convey my rationale for voting to support this piece of legislation. Prior to these meetings, I had extensive conversations with Pac-12 representatives in regard to the Conference's position on a number of legislative proposals - the "satellite camp" proposals included. With an 0-11-1 vote cast by the Pac-12 Council, a vote to oppose proposals 2015-59 (sponsored by the ACC) and 2015-60, (sponsored by the SEC) was the charge with the ultimate goal to refer the legislation to the Football Oversight Committee (FOC).
Going into the meetings, it was the feeling of many members of the D1 Council that these proposals would be tabled at the request of the FOC, thereby rendering both of these proposals moot, and keeping the current rule relative to "satellite camps" unchanged. In fact this was the preferred outcome by our Conference as indicated in the preparatory materials I received prior to the meeting.
When this did not happen, it was conveyed on the Council floor that the FOC was supportive of 2015-59 and/or 2015-60. Based on the subsequent discussion it appeared as though passage was imminent. Therefore, I made the call to support 2015-59, which was the preference of the two options.
Proposal 2015-59 was clearly preferable from a Pac-12 perspective because it is aligned with current Pac-12 legislation SPR 6-6(a) that limits institutional camps to the campus. If 2015-60 had passed, other conferences would have had a more lenient camp rule than the Pac-12 . As such, avoiding that outcome became my top priority.
When my read of the situation was that 2015-59 was going to pass, regardless of a Pac-12 vote against, I voted in favor of this proposition as it was the more consistent of the two with current Pac-12 legislation.
Hopefully this sheds some light on the process.
Director of Athletics, UCLA
Ladies and gentlemen, if UCLA AD Dan Guerrero thinks that his fellow athletic directors and coaches are that doltish, imagine what kind of an idiot he thinks that you, the average fan, must be.
Even if you suspend your disbelief about how in fact Dan Guerrero was able to divine the outcome of the votes on either proposal before the fact, we still have some serious issues to work through with this rather pedantic explanation. For example, did not the rest of the PAC-12 already understand that the "FOC" already had a bias towards adopting a satellite camp ban? Was it also not already understood that the Big Ten, led by the unflappable Jim Harbaugh, was holding the same position as the PAC-12 and that a show of unity by two of the so-called Big Five would actually alter the bias of the FOC?
The fact of the matter is that both of the proposals put forth were done so by southeastern conferences with a vested interest to keep the western and central conferences from moving into their traditional recruiting territories. It is also a matter of fact that the one PAC-12 AD who had a vested interest in protecting his own rich recruiting catchment area was the one who created this strawman argument that one of the two competing proposals simply had to be voted in favor of.
Only the most fatuous of simpletons could possibly be assuaged by this explanation.
Speaking of which, way to stand up for your AD, Jim Mora.
PAC 12 Commissioner Larry Scott, who for some inexplicable reason did not participate in this process, is the person who made a story out of what otherwise would have been an opaque backroom deal, the likes of which the Republican National Committee would have been proud. Scott confirmed to ESPN.com that Guerrero "did not vote in the way that he was supposed to" and that "we had 11 schools in our conference that wanted this looked at as we studied more comprehensively football recruiting issues -- there's a variety of them -- but in the meantime we'd prefer the status quo, which for us allows coaches to attend other camps in other markets."
Scott's confirmation of Guerrero's suspected betrayal came on the heels of public comments made by, who else, Mike Leach. Leach had previously said, "The Pac-12 poll (on satellite camps), 11 in favor of satellite camps, one abstention. Now how that unfolds into a vote against satellite camps, I can’t imagine. It’s unfathomable."
Even Husky head coach, Chris Petersen, felt compelled to chime in on the issue. "I like the satellite camps, I think they are good for kids. But if we’re not going to do it, to pull the rug when we have all these agreements. I don’t think that’s right."
Some argue that Guerrero's vote against, had he voted properly, would not have mattered given the support that the ACC, Big 12, and SEC were putting toward the issue. However, this argument has been invalidated by many close to the situation. The thinking is that a unified Big Ten and PAC-12 could have made it much more difficult for the Board of Governors to force through either one of the satellite camp ban proposals and would likely have resulted in delaying any action. In addition, we now have information that indicates that the Sun Belt vote was recorded incorrectly and that they actually were against the ban.
I'm now told Benson meant to say his schools would be 7-5 AGAINST a camp ban. However, their rep voted for the ban. https://t.co/B0REreGYvw— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 21, 2016
Confused yet? You should be. This is a cluster.
One thing is clear: Dan Guerrero knowingly and blatantly seized the power to defy the will of his conference and, in doing so, directly revealed himself as a charlatan and a swindler. He took action that he knew only UCLA would benefit from and tried to hide his motivations behind the "will of the NCAA." His vote was meant to ensure that other schools were locked out of the Southern California market and that rival USC would have a more difficult time recruiting on a national level.
Guerrero acted in a way that served only his program's needs and betrayed the good faith entrusted to him by his colleagues. The fanbases of every other PAC-12 program now understand exactly what the disenfranchised UCLA fanbase have long understood about the AD of their program. He is a big, fat, traitorous sleazeball who more than deserves the nickname "Chianti."
The good news for the rest of the PAC-12 is that the world now seems to be clued in to preposterousness of this very SEC/ACC-biased rule and that the debate on satellite camps may not yet be concluded. Duplicitous Dan may have played his gambit a wee bit too early and alerted his colleagues and his commissioner to his treachery. The next move surely lies with Larry Scott.
It may well be last call for Chianti Dan.