Harbaugh invites Florida H.S. coaches to spring practices

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

For Michigan fans, Bradenton, Fla., might become the hot spring break destination now that Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has opened one of the Wolverines’ four spring practices to the public.

Harbaugh on Twitter announced Wednesday that all four practices will be open to Florida high school football coaches, and the March 4 practice, the Wolverines’ last at IMG Academy, will be open to the public at 5 p.m.

Michigan leaves Sunday for Bradenton, Fla., for what has become a controversial spring break trip, ruffling the feathers of the SEC and ACC commissioners although by no account does it violate any NCAA rules. Harbaugh has said it is an opportunity to give all his players a spring break, while holding four practices and having non-football-related activities.

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Of course, IMG Academy’s football team features some of the nation’s top players, and by inviting the Florida high school coaches, that opens Michigan’s recruiting doors in a big way.

Harbaugh also has said this will give his players two weeks off without football during finals.

The SEC and ACC commissioners have attacked the plan because it interferes with a movement to address giving student-athletes more time away from their sports.

According to Harbaugh’s Tweet, the first practice Feb. 29 begins at 8 a.m., practice the next day on March 1 begins at 3 p.m. The Wolverines have Wednesday off and resume practice March 3 at 8 a.m. and then the open practice March 4 at 5 p.m.