Update: So, there is this….
— Justin Nails (@justinnails) June 15, 2017
Original story below.
Tom Herman has made no secret his plans to jostle Texas’s rivals on the recruiting trail. He secured commitments from three (and now two) Oklahoma targets during the spring, and this summer he’s made it a priority to host a camp in Louisiana.
But Ed Orgeron won’t let him.
As Pete Thamel details for Sports Illustrated, Herman and Orgeron have been locked in a game of cat-and-mouse, where Herman has partnered with local schools to partake in satellite camps only for those camps to be mysteriously shut down days before they were supposed to happen. The latest example happened just last night, when a camp in Baton Rouge slated to take place on Thursday and hosted by Belhaven University head coach Hal Mumme was cancelled.
(As an aside, the NCAA attempted to shut down all satellite camps earlier this spring but, in typical NCAA fashion, Division III schools did not pass the legislation, thus creating the loophole Herman is attempting to exploit.)
The SI article and the coaches struggling to get a camp in Louisiana are attempting to paint Orgeron and LSU as the bad guys here, but the truth is there really is no villain in this story.
LSU is well within its rights to protect its home turf, and is under no obligation to help Texas recruit its state. (For what it’s worth: LSU’s roster lists a total of 25 Texans; Texas claims five players from Louisiana.) The Tigers are also doing their duty as Louisiana’s flagship school to help players not good enough to sign with the Tigers secure looks from other Division I schools in the state as well. An LSU staff source stressed to FootballScoop, “We have four camps at LSU, one at Southeastern Louisiana and one at Tulane. There are ten other Louisiana schools that are at every single camp we do. That’s 275 scholarships available for Louisiana kids.”
Herman’s efforts to camp in Louisiana are more symbolic than practical in the first place. It’s unlikely the Longhorns would have signed a player out of one of this month’s camps, but the Texas head coach made the effort simply to get the burnt orange brand as close to LSU’s campus as possible.
Texas isn’t doing anything wrong by trying to camp in Louisiana, and LSU isn’t doing anything wrong by blocking them.
And, besides, Orgeron can’t truly block Herman from recruiting in Louisiana. He may just have to do it by walking the halls of Louisiana’s high schools instead of using a Division III program to parachute onto a nearby football field.