David Noe, Staff Writer
Well, it’s no surprise that Coach Jim Harbaugh is roughing up some feathers again in the college football world for his recent announcement. Last week, gaining attention after Super Bowl Sunday.
The SEC is not thrilled and voiced their opinion about Coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff going to IMG Academy located in Bradenton, Florida for spring break to practice. The commissioner of the SEC, Greg Sankey, has asked the NCAA to prohibit college teams the ability to practice during spring break and do it quickly. The first time we heard the SEC and ACC was when Coach Jim Harbaugh somewhat invaded their territory was last summer for the so-called “satellite camps” all over the country where he attended several in the south.
Last Wednesday on National Signing Day, a day the Michigan Football program was already being talked about because of the “Signing of the Stars” event. Coach Jim Harbaugh announced their plans for Spring Break over February 27th through March 6th. He provided details about where they were going and there was no doubt it would get people talking for or against this outside the box decision. The destination is Bradenton, Florida and home of the IMG Academy, where several of the elite 2017 recruits attend.
Currently there is no NCAA rule prohibiting a move out of their facilities to practice during spring break. Programs only are provided a total of fifteen spring practices, which before now was all done in their own state. So this will be the first and possibly the last time it happens out of state. If any decision is made by the NCAA, it will most likely not be effective prior to the trip.
Many fans around the country are voicing their opinion about the move. Some think players will not be excited and wish they could see family or spend time with friends. While others feel it’s a great idea to get away from Ann Arbor as a team.
Is Coach Jim Harbaugh going too far with this decision? Would Coach Bo Schembechler think this is a great idea for The Team? If they were going to California or Texas, would the SEC still be making it such a big deal?
The SEC commissioner thinks that Spring Break should be just that, a break from school and football. It should be their personal time to spend how they wish to go in a mission trip or see family, rather than a mandatory trip to Florida with four practices.
When I played collegiate golf, we always had a trip planned for spring break. My freshman year we went to Hawaii and senior year St. Lucia. Everyone had a blast and being away from school was a great time to work hard at our sport, but also have the opportunity to go somewhere many could not afford on their own. Some players may have mixed emotions about the trip, so we will have to wait and see if the trip is viewed as a success or failure. Even though, it may be prohibited in the future.
This is just another example of how/ why Coach Jim Harbaugh is good for Michigan and college football in general; he has his own agenda whether people like it or not. He has shown us his recruiting style is different and unique. Harbaugh held a National Signing Day event that raised over $100,000 for the Chad Tough Foundation, has outside the box ideas on where to practice and is not going anywhere soon. Plus, they will be the only team in college football wearing Jordan starting next season.