Chicago — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has taken his football team on donor-paid overseas spring trips the last three years, first to Rome, then Paris and South Africa this year, so it should come as no surprise the Wolverines are close to announcing they will play a game on “foreign soil.”
Harbaugh, being unusually quippy during his Big Ten media days appearance Friday, was asked about an idea outgoing commissioner Jim Delany floated on Thursday about playing abroad, perhaps Mexico City.
“We like travel,” Harbaugh said with a smile when asked about the possibility.
Then he came close to offering a scoop.
“We’re scheduling, we’re really close to announcing, actually, playing another team on foreign soil,” Harbaugh said. “I won’t say when it is, because — have you heard anything about this? Then I’d better not say it. We’re not ready to release that yet. There’s something pretty imminent.”
Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel didn’t say if or when the overseas game might happen.
“We may at some point,” Manuel said in a text to The Detroit News. “Nothing finalized.”
After the Wolverines’ spring trip in Rome, where they held three practices and bonded with the AS Roma soccer team, Harbaugh said he was so blown away by the experience that playing a regular-season game abroad would definitely be on his radar. While on the high of the trip in Rome, he suggested at the time that could be a possible destination.
“Yes, definitely consider that for sure,” Harbaugh said at the time. “It would be great to have a football game here, the new stadium or the new AS Roma stadium. Think it opens up a lot of possibilities. The AS Roma folks have been so great, we’d love to partner with them in any and every way. With their new stadium coming out, I think that would be a natural for Michigan to play a game here when it opens.”