Jim Harbaugh, the coach of Michigan, expressed his sentiments about the challenges involved with complying with NCAA rules. While talking about the challenges they face with the constant visits between two countries, to 22 states and 39 camps, he said that there is some favoritism against football when it comes to obeying rules. His sentiments will eventually have an impact on college football national championship odds.
On Monday at Baltimore's Patterson Park, many high school students approached Harbaugh when he arrived at the Wolverines' satellite camp. All the needed him to do is to pose for a photo with them. However, Harbaugh was forced to end their desire by telling them that the NCAA instructed him not to take pictures with fans. Afterwards, Harbaugh broke up an interview between ESPN.com and his son citing the reason that during camps, the NCAA does not allow filming of interviews by the media fraternity. However, after two hours of practice, he was allowed to address reporters after their first session.
According to Harbaugh, he has always believed that they can perform interviews with the press, and this has been traditionally practiced. However, the NCAA has the habit of changing such rules haphazardly on a daily basis, which is a very interesting occurrence. He noted that the NCAA has constantly sent compliance people in every camp they travel to during the season because they have also had one of their compliance individuals at those camps. Even though people still think that the camps do not have any oversight, it is not true, Harbaugh said.
Furthermore, Harbaugh pointed out that most of the scrutiny in American sports focus on football, and the combination of the rules also aim to hurt the student-athlete. This is the main reason behind the notion that some of the other sports do not get it. "People are against football," said Harbaugh. He gave an example of lacrosse by saying that it is a rising affluent sport dominated by whites. You can recruit the student player in the eighth grade, but the situation could change after the dark period in August. He promised to fight for the game, the student athletes, and their families because such occurrences tests his wills.
When it comes to the aggressive words between Nick Saban, the Alabama coach and Harbaugh, they did not have any argument. Mike Locksley, the offensive analyst at Alabama, was the only individual from the Tide's staff who attended the camp, and he was barred from talking to the media according to Saban rules, and not NCAA.
However, Harbaugh still maintained that all coaches in the nation should take the satellite camps issues seriously because it can polarize the entire game. He encouraged all coaches to fight for football because of the passion they have had towards it, while teaching people and presenting it to interested individuals involved in the game. During their stay in the camp, Harbaugh displayed a lot of energy, and even spent the first hour wearing a Cal Ripken jersey. He then switched to a Ray Lewis jersey. He even declared his next jersey would be his packed Derek Jeter jersey.