As we know, Jim Harbaugh took Michigan to Florida last spring break. The NCAA stepped in and stopped spring break trips, but Harbaugh and the Wolverines got out of town ahead of the posse by planning this year's trip to Rome for April, when Michigan breaks between semesters.
But Harbaugh isn't stopping at Rome. In fact, that trip is only the beginning.
Harbaugh revealed Wednesday he would like to take the Wolverines abroad every spring. His wish list? South Africa, Japan, Israel, New Zealand and London. (This year's Rome trip is funded by a Michigan donor.)
“I envision it being an annual thing,” Harbaugh told the Toledo Blade. “I’ve got my places planned for year two, year three, year four. This is all centered around the study abroad program. They’ll have all of May off to pursue their studies abroad. I thought Rome was a good center spot.”
Harbaugh's argument contends these "study" abroad trips skirt the NCAA's new rule banning off-campus practice during break periods because they would come between semesters. To bolster his point: plenty of basketball teams travel to Europe regularly. Drake took its football team to play a game at Mount Kilimanjaro during the same period in 2011.
“I don’t know who would have a problem with or how they could," Harbaugh said. “Unless they’re not for student-athletes. This is bringing academics and athletics together. This is what being a student-athlete is supposed to be. It’s one of the reasons we're so excited by it.”
I have to say I hope the NCAA doesn't bear trap Harbaugh just because he's Jim Harbaugh, and I also have to say I harbor that belief simply because the idea of Harbaugh making his guys practice their run fits against 12 personnel outside Jerusalem's Temple Mount is just too entertaining.