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Auburn coach Gus Malzahn sends mixed signals on satellite camp plans

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn celebrates a win over Idaho on Saturday, November, 21, 2015.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn celebrates a win over Idaho on Saturday, November, 21, 2015. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn isn’t ruling anything out in drawing up plans for satellite camps this summer.

He isn’t ready to commit to anything either.

On A-Day, Malzahn agreed with the rule by the Division I Council to ban the off campus camps.

When the NCAA Board of Directors voted to reverse the decision last week, the SEC announced it wouldn’t extend its ban on satellite camp when it expires May 29.

Malzahn is evaluating a variety of options in hopes of announcing a plan next week. The only camp currently on Auburn’s schedule is the Minority Coaches Association of Georgia's Football Academy camp June 9-10 at Woodland-Henry High School in Stockbridge.

“We’re trying to figure out what’s best for Auburn,” Malzahn said. “We think there’s great value in getting players to our campus. So we’re just trying to figure out the right thing to do for Auburn as far as our strategy is concerned about where we should go, how many places we should go, who we should send—I know the rest of the coaches in our league are trying to answer these same questions. I’m just taking a deep breath back, away and then figure out what’s best for us moving forward.”

Before speaking at a West Georgia Auburn Club event in LaGrange, Georgia, Malzahn wouldn’t rule out teaming up with a smaller school to host a camp on Auburn’s campus, running camps outside the team’s main recruiting region (Alabama, Florida and Georgia) or making an appearance at camps along with his assistant coaches.

“I think there’s been a lot of discussion with our staff and we’ve thrown around a lot of different ideas and we’re trying to figure out what these other schools are doing too,” Malzahn said. “I just think right now there’s a time with a little bit of uncertainty—not just with us, but all the teams in our conference right now, just figuring out the best strategy for each school, and that’s what we’re doing right now.”

Malzahn might be leaving his options open, but his assistants shouldn’t be packing their bags expecting to head out west just yet.

Auburn running backs coach Tim Horton explained why he thought the program’s satellite camp plan would be regionally focused earlier this week. Horton opinion isn’t at odds with Malzahn’s way of thinking.

“We’re going to stay true to who we are with Alabama, Georgia and Florida — those three states we hang our hat on now,” Malzahn said. “Every now and then we go out with a specific relationship or a specific player, but those are the three states that we’re going to make our living in and we’re going to spend most of our time.”