Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has made a living by creating ways to promote his Wolverines program. First it was satellite camps, which ruffled many feathers in SEC country. The most recent creative angle played by Harbaugh was holding spring break practices at Bradenton, Florida’s IMG Academy.
In a clear repudiation of Harbaugh’s spring break practices in Florida, the NCAA’s Power Five conferences voted to ban off-campus practices during spring and summer breaks.
When asked about his feelings on the spring break trips ban after the vote, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel didn’t hold back.
“The rule didn’t get proposed until after we took the football team down to Florida for spring break,” Manuel said. “So I think you can read into that as you will.”
Many are of the opinion that this ban is a direct result of Michigan’s recruiting incursions into SEC and Pac-12 Country and that this is a protectionist move by other Power Five conferences who don’t want the Michigan brand recruiting in their back yard.
Michigan’s first spring break trip to IMG Academy yielded great dividends as he landed the nation’s top center prospect, four-star Caesar Ruiz, and five-star linebacker Jordan Anthony. Those two jewels of the 2017 recruiting class committing to Michigan didn’t sit well with SEC and ACC schools who would like to build a wall around the South, which is a very anti-competitive move.
Harbaugh shook up the recruiting world in 2016 becoming the first Big Ten team to land a consensus number one player in defensive lineman Rashan Gary.
Harbaugh reportedly will drop his next creative asset on the NCAA by taking his team to Rome, Italy for spring break in the coming months before the ban is enacted in August.
(You can follow Gregg Henson on Twitter @GreggHenson)
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