Tubby takes a stand against Elite Camps
Posted on: June 17, 2009 10:47 am
I wrote a column about Elite Camps last summer detailing the "creative" ways many schools go about getting high school prospects on campus for an unofficial visit. Among the things I explained is how schools hire summer coaches or other people connected to prospects and pay them large amounts of money to work Elite Camps with an understanding that that person will then turn around and use part of his payment to cover the travel expenses of a desired recruit because, honestly, how else could a normal kid and his family afford to fly all over the country each June unofficially visiting campuses?
This reality is something Tubby Smith addressed this week.
It's one of the reasons he isn't holding an Elite Camp at Minnesota this year.
"There [have] been some concerns as coaches with kids that are traveling that far for a day or two-day Elite Camp," Smith told the St. Paul Pioneer Press . "We don't want anything to suggest that there's any type of [wrongdoing]. ... An Elite Camp is legal; I think guys are doing the right things. But there are some things that can look like they're not, so you have to be real careful."
One thing about Elite Camps I didn't get into last summer is how they can be (and usually are) a huge financial loss for schools, which should prove that the real motive isn't to make money (as is the case with camps for younger players) as much as it's to simply get prospects on campus regardless of the cost.
For instance, the cost for an elementary age player to attend a camp at a high-major program might be $250, but the same program will charge intriguing high school prospects just $40 to attend its Elite Camp. Then that program might have 20 prospects attend, which would garner $800 in fees. But then that program might hire hire 10 people connected to the prospects to "work" the camp at $1,000 a piece, which would cost the program $10,000.
And then there's the cost of food.
And a program could easily show a loss of more than $10,000 for a two-day camp.
But who cares?
If it helps get a recruit, it's money well spent.
But Tubby Smith apparently doesn't see it that way.
And though I'm not sure it's smart given the nature of this business, I can admit it is at least noble.