Camp rules keep SEC coaches on outside looking in

MACON — Pre-registration for Georgia State’s football camp is well ahead of last year’s pace.

Penn State coach James Franklin and his coaching staff will be on hand for the June 10 sessions, something that Georgia State coach Trent Miles’ camp website advertises.

Miles said there were 40 or 50 campers who signed up ahead of time last year.

“This year we’ve got a few hundred,” Miles said.

Franklin is tapping into the recruiting hotbed that is Atlanta and the Southeast at a camp at the Sun Belt Conference school.

That has ruffled some feathers among SEC coaches. Franklin used to be one of them before jumping from Vanderbilt.

SEC rules don’t allow coaches to work “satellite camps.”

Georgia’s Mark Richt and Miles talked to each other about the issue Tuesday morning while at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame for the Peach State Pigskin Preview event.

“We talked,” Richt said. “You know what? They’re doing what’s in the best interest of their program. Everything’s on the up and up, everything’s within the rules. Obviously it’s good for Georgia State in his mind so I’m happy for him.”

The SEC has a rule prohibiting its coaches from working camps at other schools like Franklin is doing.

“It does tie our hands some,” Richt said. “But we do want some type of sanity for our assistant coaches. It’s busy enough as it is.”

Said Miles: “They’re playing by a different set of rules in the SEC. It’s nothing illegal being done. I’m abiding by the rule and we’re doing the best thing for Georgia State football.”

The surge in interest by campers has to do in large part with Franklin and his staff.

“They’re guest coaches, it’s my football camp and anybody that works at that is an employee of mine for that time,” Miles said. “And we all know why.”

Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson also spoke to Miles. Johnson said ACC rules don’t allow him to work other camps either.

“And nobody probably will be by next year,” Johnson said. “They’ll change the rule. It’s skirting the intent of the rule. That’s not what the rule was for. They know that.”

Miles said one of his assistants worked with Franklin at Maryland and Miles has known Franklin for years.

Notre Dame is in line to work the Georgia State camp next year. Miles is a former Notre Dame assistant.

Franklin and his staff also reportedly will work at Stetson’s camp in Deland, Fla.

Richt said college coaches from lower divisions work Georgia’s camps “all the time,” providing an opportunity for campers to get seen by coaches other than those at Georgia.

Georgia State will have a similar chance with Penn State and Notre Dame coaches there.

“They’ll be more four- and five-star kids that we would never get,” Miles said.

Miles called it “a win-win for the student-athlete. He’s going to be exposed to more than one coaching staff. He’s going to have an opportunity to showcase his talents for a chance to earn a scholarship and they’ll be more kids than normal.”