Jim Harbaugh held Michigan practices at IMG Academy in Florida during spring break. The NCAA has instituted a rule to stop Michigan from doing this.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey claims the rule was not about Southern schools protecting recruiting territory. It was about protecting the sanctity of student-athletes’ time off.
“Student-athletes told us to stop taking and grabbing more time from them. I said then and I’ll say now it seemed the wrong direction to be using what is a break opportunity for practice,” Sankey said. “It’s as fundamental as that. It wasn’t about one institution or some regional protection. It was very simply if we’re going to sit here and talk about trying to be attentive to time expectations and managing those appropriately for student-athletes, we have to look at that type of out-of-season, off-campus, take a trip practice.”
College administrators have no problem forcing kids to surrender their winter breaks to play in bowl games. Student-athlete representatives, it should be noted, voted 11-4 against banning these trips. Last year, Michigan tight end Jake Butt noted the trip made Michigan finish spring practice a week early, giving players an extra week to focus on school before finals.
The NCAA overturned a similar Jim Harbaugh-related rule banning satellite camps last April. Though, that rule was actually a hardship for student-athletes. Expect this rule to stick.