Harbaugh still bemused by all fuss over Florida trip

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Jim Harbaugh

Those who follow Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh on Twitter know he doesn’t tweet often, but when he does, he usually has a point, although often thinly veiled.

In recent weeks he has jabbed at Georgia coach Kirby Smart and Tennessee coach Butch Jones, adding to those jabs by referring to Smart as the “Georgia coach” and Jones as his “Rocky Top colleague”.

Harbaugh appeared on The Rich Eisen Show on Wednesday and was asked about his Twitter approach.

“I take the game seriously but not myself,” Harbaugh told Eisen. “I like to have fun. I’ve enjoyed it. It makes me laugh. It’s a great way to communicate. Those are the two things that stand out the most to me — I have fun doing it and it’s a great way to gather information or disseminate information or get information.”

Eisen then asked if Harbaugh uses Twitter to get things — like criticism of his decision to take the Wolverines to Florida last week for spring practice during spring break — off his chest.

“Yeah, yeah, at times you can get something off your chest, set the record straight, bring clarity to a situation immediately,” Harbaugh said. “It’s got the ability to do all those things.”

Harbaugh told Eisen he still doesn’t know why there was a negative reaction to taking the team to Florida. The SEC and ACC commissioners spoke out against the trip, saying the student-athletes already have too many time constraints because of their sports.

He reiterated what he said after last Friday’s final practice in Florida, that the trip was “all positive.” Harbaugh also said that as a parent, you dread the spring break week when you have 18- and 19-year-old kids.

“The goal was to have a healthy, productive fun week of football and accomplished all that,” Harbaugh said, before adding his general feelings about spring break.

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“When did the sanctity of spring break become such a hallowed experience? When did that take place? That’s more important than Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Easter, or Thanksgiving? Spring break is drinking, and … it seems very unhealthy. My memories of it and what has transpired to the present day, it does not seem like something you can’t afford to miss. I think we can all afford to miss that.”

He added his staple response when asked why the Southeastern Conference coaches might not want Michigan holding spring practice in fertile SEC recruiting territory: “In my America you’re allowed to cross state borders and travel the great United States.”

Harbaugh also mentioned that retired coach Steve Spurrier will be among the coaches who will participate in Michigan’s coaching clinic this weekend, and he offered an easy test to see who should become a coach.

“Would you rather go to a coaching clinic than a concert?” Harbaugh said as his test question. “If the answer is coaching clinic, there’s a good chance you should be a football coach.”