Up and down, down and up.
The nature of football recruiting in the islands is unique, but when Pac-12 recruiters — and coaches from several other major conferences, plus small colleges and JCs — showed up to a PIAA-hosted combine years ago, it was a boon for local players.
However, until last year’s Maximum Exposure Camp at the University of Hawaii campus, there was a drought imposed by the NCAA, prohibiting the presence of college coaches at what has since become termed “satellite camps.”
The GPA Maximum Exposure Camp, hosted by PIAA, Chad Ikei and Rich Miano, was well-attended by college recruiters. Interest in players was big coming in, and offers were put on the table within minutes of the camp’s completion.
It was, once again, the best of times for local football players who can’t afford to travel to on-campus camps on the mainland.
With the NCAA’s recent decision to ban satellite camps, the predictable furor has gained momentum. Though it appeared that the nation’s powerhouse programs stood to benefit from on-campus-only camps, some prominent coaches have begun to speak out against the NCAA’s draconian measure.
Among them is Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez.
Ikei, who is also a trainer for pro and college athletes, is putting hope into action. He has started a petition on his Facebook page.
“We’re hoping to make our voices heard loud enough that the NCAA will consider changing the rule on April 28…let’s give our island athletes opportunities they deserve and a goal of being a collegiate student-athlete they desire,” Ikei wrote.
“Due to our demographic location we should have the loudest voice out there amongst the nation so all my FB friends and family from Hawaii, Samoa, Guam, Saipan, Tonga and those across the country let’s make some noise to get this vote changed.”
Ikei isn’t alone. Parents like Rozlyn Peoples of Michigan have also begun online petitions.
Though a majority of the NCAA’s top conferences voted for a ban, some coaches from those leagues have expressed disappointment.