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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Recruiting scheme from Penn State's James Franklin has old roots

(AP photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Despite a nearly 1,200-mile distance, Greg Schiano used to court hundreds of South Florida recruits through his one-day sponsored football camps while head coach at Rutgers.

It was part of his plan to fertilize a program whose only bowl appearance came more than two decades before his arrival.

Chris Merritt, head coach at Miami's Columbus High, marveled at Schiano's forward-thinking tactics, part of his plan to revitalize Rutgers with recruits from Florida:

“He used to do a one-day camp where you’d have one in Dade County. He did one in Broward County, and he did one up in Palm Beach where they’d charge the kids $20 — all under NCAA rules. The conference rules weren't set up yet. I think he forced them to change the rules."

Those one-day camps — along with strategic billboard advertisements along the Florida coast — are now prohibited, part of a policy that aims to decrease the arms race that is now recruiting.
Years later, Penn State's James Franklin has gained an edge that SEC coaches scathe, according to an Associated Press story.
An excerpt: 
"Penn State and new coach James Franklin caused a stir down south when it was announced earlier this month that the Nittany Lions' staff would be working with prospects at Georgia State's camp in Atlanta on June 10.
NCAA rules prohibit schools from running camps out of state more than 50 miles from their campus. Penn State's presence at Georgia State's camp doesn't break the rule because the Nittany Lions are considered guests of the Panthers' staff."
It could be a ploy the NCAA — and the power-five conferences — closely monitors. 

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