J.W. Marriott Hotel
Grand Rapids, MI
Jim Harbaugh set the college football world on its backside when he announced that the University of Michigan football team would be traveling to Florida for some of their spring practices. They will be practicing at the renowned IMG academy. A program loaded with top tier recruits and prospects.
The SEC has NO ROOM to be lecturing any school or conference on integrity of the game, but with Harbaugh’s announcement they started crying and whining. Many fans (not of the Wolverines) took exception with Harbaugh as well.
Since arriving at Michigan Harbaugh has had any number of things draw national attention. Regardless of what others think, Harbaugh has not cared. Harbaugh’s tactics, including offering to spend the night at recruit’s homes, has raised some eyebrows.
I asked MSU head coach Mark Dantonio back earlier this year if he thought he would plan any sleepovers in recruiting to which he smiled and simply said, “I am not planning any sleepovers.”
So when Mark Dantonio spent some time with a handful of reporters here at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Grand Rapids, of course we had to ask if he was going to consider taking any spring practices out of state. His answer may shock some of you. “I think it’s creative, there’s no question about that. From our standpoint, we’ve never thought to do that, but we’re thinking about it nowadays.” Admitting that he was considering it immediately spread nationwide.
Dantonio admitted that in considering such a move there certainly would be some negative as well as positive reaction. “There’s always a push-back on that. If you go, there’s always something negative, if we stay there’s probably something negative. There’s always a pushback whatever you do.”
But that didn’t dissuade Dantonio for considering the idea. He thinks in today’s fast moving and changing world of college football, you have to keep your options open. “From my perspective we try to worry about what’s going on with our program, I do think it’s important to have a level playing field for all colleges and for all universities. From my perspective we worry about who we are and what we do from there. If we want to go to Florida or someplace else, in Texas or something like that, that would be our option to do that, and I guess that’s allowed right now.”
Dantonio has thought outside the box before. Dantonio has said in the past that he would like the NCAA to consider letting schools, “Scrimmage” another school at the end of spring practice rather than the annual team wide scrimmage known as the Green vs White game.