Last week, the NCAA reversed course, rescinding a month-old ban the collegiate sports cartel had placed on "satellite camps", the off-campus clinics held by many teams as shadow recruiting tools. Some argued that it was a benefit for student-athletes. Some schools argued that it threatened competitive balance and principles of fairness.
And some people just wouldn't return my emails.
Seriously, I was going to try to get a panel discussion going here. I'd get all of the Every Day Should Be Saturday writers together to weigh in on the relative merits of each side. It turns out, though, that despite this issue being pretty much the only thing to talk about in college football news in early May, no one wants to talk about it. Ryan claimed he had a dentist appointment. Peter answered the phone in Spanish. Spencer had an out-of-office email reply that just said "I'm going to my favorite place in the world, a great city that I love and wish I lived in".
"I told him I kill people, I shoot people." Good morning, random NY street conversation.— SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) May 4, 2016
So, I'm struggling here, is what I'm saying, readers.
Fortunately, inspiration is often found at the bottom of a barrel, and I was able to get last-minute commitments from two, ahem, respected experts: Noted EDSBS Guest Columnist Holly The Corgi, and new contributor, A Baby That's Just Learned To Crawl In The Last Two Weeks. Let's welcome them.
actioncookbook: Thank you for joining us today, we're really glad to get you both here.
BABY: [squeals joyously at sight of dog]
DOG: I want to die.
actioncookbook: I'm sorry?
DOG: I hope you are sorry. I've been hiding under the bed for weeks. My life is ruined. We had a thing going, man. We had a DEAL. You provide me with a quiet, warm, peaceful spot to sleep for 22 hours a day, feed me cheese whenever you're cooking, and tell me I'm pretty, and I'd let you exploit my image to build your social-media presence. There was balance. Things worked!
actioncookbook: I don't honestly see how any of that has chang-
BABY: [just frickin' shrieks. I think he's happy? Who even knows]
DOG: I hate you so much.
actioncookbook: Look, you're emotional right now, I understand. Let's channel these energies and talk about the issue that's on everyone's minds: NCAA satellite recruiting camps. Holly, I understand you've come out on the side of the SEC here, opposed to the idea. Can you elaborate?
DOG: I think established territories should be respected. I think if someone's spent a long time with sole control over an area, then they have every right to expect those boundaries to remain in place. It's a matter of decorum. It's a matter of tradition, it's a matter of principle.
actioncookbook: Wow, you're really passionate about this. That's rare, most people just sort of glaze over on this issue.
DOG: IT'S A MATTER OF COMMON DECENCY AND- gotta go
[a few moments later, after resetting the room and returning the panel members to their positions]
actioncookbook: Well, a strong and impassioned case against the NCAA's current rules from Holly, who argues that satellite camps are a detriment to the sport and also [is passed note] that I am "a big stupid butthead ape" that's not nice, Holly.
DOG: truth often isn't
actioncookbook: anyways, for a counterpoint, let's take it to this ten-month-old boy, who's currently chewing on a West Elm catalog, itself an ironic reminder of a time in our life where we could afford nice furniture. As I understand it, baby, you have opinions that differ from Holly's on this issue?
BABY: [laughs, claps, spits up]
DOG: see, this is the same crap as with Harbaugh, it doesn't matter what he does, you all think it's adorable and charming and it's frankly bullshit. I LEARNED TO POOP OUTSIDE, SO CAN HE.
actioncookbook: the baby, or Harbaugh
BABY: [chucks block at my groin, stumbles forward, rips the glasses off my face]
DOG: oh look it's like She's All That but with a dopey 30-something guy turning into a dopey 30-something guy who can't see as well
actioncookbook: [puts glasses back on]
DOG: look like a broke-ass Clark Kent
DOG: look like the yellow sun gave you the power to run a ten-minute mile and feel proud of yourself for three days after
actioncookbook: please stop roasting me
DOG: look like you running for congress in Southern Indiana
actioncookbook: the specificity of that one is oddly hurtful
DOG: look like the lighting stand-in for Scott Disick
actioncookbook: Can we please get back to the issue here?
DOG: look like the before picture from a CrossFit ad
actioncookbook: I think what the baby is trying to say here is, increased boundaries help everyone. The schools get a chance to expand their view and their brand to new frontiers. It benefits athletes, who effectively have the schools come to them, rather than having to undertake travel to different campuses. There can be beneficial side-effects, too - innovative coaches can spread their techniques to new places, and that benefits the sport as a whole. A rising tide lifts all boats. Does that sound like an accurate reading of your thoughts?
BABY: [is suspiciously silent, possibly pooping]
actioncookbook: we will take that as a yes. So, anyways, two impassioned cases here, great points on both sides. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your stance, the NCAA has spoken, and satellite camps are once again the law of the land. So, whether it's Jim Harbaugh coming to Florida or a baby who's suddenly mobile, the thing is: you're just going to have to accept it. The new kid on the block is gonna rattle some cages, but there's no stopping him now.
BABY: [just falls over backwards, hits his head, starts bawling]
DOG: lmao it's like the Michigan State game