Do you remember hearing that, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh decided to take the entire Michigan football team, to Italy for spring football. There is actually a story behind the story. In 2016, coach Harbaugh, decided to take the team to an IMG practice facility in Bradenton Florida, for Spring Break. This of course, was frowned upon by a majority of the five major conferences, because it was taking away free time from their student-athletes. So….they enacted a new ruling ( called the Harbaugh Rule) prohibiting any off campus get-to-gethers during Spring Break, or any other scheduled break periods, so that the student athletes, would not be required to have any sports related activities, during that period. The athletes themselves voted against the new proposal. This new law takes effect in August of 2017.
What does the unconventional Harbaugh, do to flaunt that decision, in their face? He takes 150 student athletes to Italy, for 8 days, and 3 spring practices, which are open to the public. He is touting the trip as a combination of spring practices, and an educational trip. The team is going to the Opera, and visiting a number of museums.
The cherry on top of this, is going to the Vatican, and meeting the pope. Harbaugh brought with him a Michigan helmet, with the pope’s name and number on it, and a pair of Michigan themed Air Jordan shoes. How about that, for shoving the new ruling, where the sun don’t shine. He indicated afterwards he’s considering Japan, Argentina, and Hawaii among others for future trips.
For those who are criticizing the expense by a university; a wealthy backer paid for the trip.
Not a bad recruiting tool!!!