Harbaugh-SEC feud heats up with tweet, reaction

The Detroit News
Greg Sankey

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey says Jim Harbaugh is being negligent to student-athletes in taking them to Florida for practices over spring break.

The SEC, citing concern for the time commitment it would require for the players, has asked the NCAA to prevent universities from taking such trips.

Harbaugh seemed to respond to the criticism on Twitter on Wednesday when he wrote:

"Question of the day: Does anyone find whining to be attractive? Just curious."

Sankey interpreted the tweet as a shot at the SEC.

"I'm not going to reduce what is an important conversation to some childhood use of Twitter," Sankey told AL.com. "This is an important issue."

Sankey added: "We need to understand that it's really clear when people do things -- push the boundaries -- others follow and I think it is all in our collective best interests to say out-of-season sports using, in this case, spring break for practice purposes, is not appropriate."

Of course, those who support Harbaugh's spring break plan believe the SEC and its coaches are simply trying to protect their own recruiting turf. Michigan will have four practices over one week at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, starting on Feb. 29.

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The IMG football team has a number of elite players, including five-star athlete Dylan Moses, who is transferring from a school in Louisiana.  Moses has said he would like to be recruited by Michigan.

Harbaugh and his staff would not be allowed in-person contact with any potential Michigan recruits while in Florida, but Moses and his teammates could watch the Wolverines' practices.

Michigan tight end Jake Butt also addressed the controversy Wednesday night.

"As a student-athlete, I like the idea of knocking out some of my spring practices when I don't have to worry about class," Butt wrote on Twitter.