Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh raised some eyebrows last year when took his team off campus to practice in Florida during spring break.
As it turns out, some of the eyebrows raised might have been the wrong ones. ESPN’s Mitch Sherman reported on Thursday that NCAA leadership took the first step to eliminating such trips.
According to the report, the NCAA Division I Council on Wednesday asked for a review of the practice by the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and for the committee to report any recommendations.
“We all agree, that’s something that should not happen,” Brady Bramlett, co-chair of the SAAC, told ESPN. “We’re very adamant that, in your non-championship season, if you have a vacation period, it should really be a vacation period.
“If we’re going to honor student-athletes’ time, we need to honor to the utmost.”
According to Sherman, the SAAC will recommend that the Division I Council draft legislation to eliminate the kinds of off-campus practices that Michigan conducted in 2016. The report, citing Northwestern athletic director and Division I Council chair Jim Phillips, said the legislation could go into effect as soon as August and bring an end to the trips in the spring of 2018.
Last March, the Wolverines spent a week practicing at recruiting hotbed IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., drawing 5,000 fans for an open practice on the final day. Michigan has not announced plans for a similar trip this year, but last year’s trip was not announced until February.
The spring break trip was just one of the creative ways Harbaugh has tried to make inroads in Florida. In June, the Michigan coach held satellite camps in Fort Lauderdale and Davie, part of his “Summer Swarm Tour” that covered 33 different locations over 20 days.
The satellite camps, too, could become a thing of the past if the NCAA passes its proposed legislation in April.