Why the Sun Belt voted against the B1G and for the satellite camp ban
There are plenty of people in B1G country upset with the NCAA over the satellite camp ban.
Actually, those people should be upset with the final vote tally from each conference, which was the ultimate decider. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported that the ACC, Big 12, MWC, Pac-12, SEC and Sun Belt all voted against satellite camps. The B1G, along with the AAC, Conference USA and MAC, were the conferences in favor of the camps.
Lost in the shuffle of the outrage that followed was this valuable question:
Somewhat related: What in the hell is the damn Sun Belt doing voting against satellite camps? Are they trying to kill their own league?
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) April 9, 2016
That’s a real concern for non-Power Five conferences, whose recruits and coaches benefitted from the exposure of satellite camps. So why would the Sun Belt not be on board with helping itself out?
The sad reality is, the Sun Belt can’t afford to ruffle SEC feathers. After all, that’s where its bread gets buttered. Those non-conference blowouts that fans complain about are helping fund programs like South Alabama. They need those annual paychecks to come in, and as we know, the SEC did plenty to voice its opposition of the camps.
The Sun Belt isn’t just sprinkling in a few games against the SEC in the next few years. Every single Sun Belt team has at least one SEC opponent on its schedule in the next two years except for Georgia State. But don’t worry about Georgia State. The program still has five future meetings with SEC teams, which is more than any other Sun Belt school.
Here’s a look at the future games each Sun Belt team has against the SEC:
- Auburn 2016
- Alabama 2018
- Tennessee 2016
- Georgia 2017
- Ole Miss 2016
- Auburn 2017
- LSU 2019
- Tennessee 2019
- Alabama 2020
- Auburn 2021
- Vanderbilt 2024
- Vanderbilt 2025
- LSU 2016
- Ole Miss 2017
- Tennessee 2021
- LSU 2017
New Mexico State
- Kentucky 2016
- Texas A&M 2016
- Missouri 2017
- Florida 2018
- LSU 2020
- Georgia 2016
- Texas A&M 2017
- Arkansas 2016
- Auburn 2016
- Auburn 2017
That’s 26 future meetings with the SEC compared to 12 with the B1G. The SEC and the Sun Belt have a solid, working relationship. They exchange victories for cash, and uniformity in all matters such as satellite camps.
But according to Associated Press reporter Ralph Russo, the Sun Belt was not unanimous in its decision to vote against satellite camps. He confirmed with Appalachian State that it wasn’t in support of the ban.
Sun Belt voted against satellite camps. Member App State is for them. Suspect within leagues not much consensus. pic.twitter.com/vMAYH1uZbD
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) April 11, 2016
It wouldn’t be surprising if more people were opposed to the ban. The reaction from recruits across the country hasn’t been positive. There’s even a petition to overturn the ban that recruits across the country are signing.
It would’ve been interesting to get a school-by-school breakdown of why each Sun Belt school supported or opposed satellite camps. Every Power Five conference that voted against satellite camps were at risk of B1G teams setting up shop on their territory. The ACC (Florida), Big 12 (Texas), Pac-12 (California), SEC (Georgia or anywhere else) are all home to recruiting hotbeds. That alone is obviously enough of a reason to oppose satellite camps.
But if you’re a Sun Belt school, do you really need a reason other than a potential $1 million paycheck? That’s how much Arkansas gave to Toledo to come to Little Rock for what was supposed to be a gimme victory. The decision to even put this in front of the NCAA was driven by money. Nobody brings more of it in than the SEC. The Sun Belt isn’t going to wake up and all of the sudden start pushing around the SEC if it supports satellite camps.
You can argue all you want that the Sun Belt shot itself in the foot by not supporting the B1G and the other mid-majors in this battle against satellite camps. But when it gets down to it, it’s all about money.
As long as the SEC is writing fat checks, the Sun Belt is going to keep cashing them in — even if it helps the rich get richer.