There has been a big of talk in recent time about whether or not college football programs should allow their student-athletes to have some time off. Occasions where student-athletes are being asked to practice during spring break are points that could easily influence college football sportsbook odds as these teams are clearly being able to sell to recruits a spring break trip is now part of the process. However, there is a debate over whether or not this should work.
An example of this comes from how Michigan’s team that spent spring break in Florida. They practiced during their trip instead of recreating. Jim Harbaugh announced that the practice week at the IMG Academy in Bradenton would coincide with spring break. This could potentially cause the NCAA to issue new rules stating that teams chose not practice during spring break. Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio admitted that taking a spring practice trip out of state is something his Spartans, “Will consider.”
NCAA president Mark Emmert has openly stated that the NCAA should not be forcing more demands onto student-athletes. Right now the NCAA prohibits players from practicing during the winter break and summer vacation periods. Also, a person can engage in up to eight hours of training and workouts in a week during the offseason. Also, a team can use as many as fifteen practice sessions in a 34-day period during the spring. A spring game can be included as well as intrasquad scrimmages. However, the NCAA has no rules stating that practices are to be outlawed during spring break. Should they? Is now a school sponsored spring break trip going to be an additional way for some programs to get a recruiting advantage?
The Football Oversight Committee is expected to go over this issue in April. Not many FBS teams have practices during spring break.
All schools have their own values on what they think should occur during the offseason. Ohio University’s David Ridpath, a sports administration processor, says that spring and off-season activities should be outlawed but he feels that the Michigan controversy is not a concern. He feels that many programs are jealous because they did not consider practicing at this time in the past.
In January, the NCAA found in a survey of about 30,000 Division I athletes that they want to spend more time on academic work. More than a third of basketball and football players especially want one added day off to go with what they have right now. They also want at least two weeks off after a season ends.
The FBS football programs have players spending about 42 hours a week on average on their sport although the NCAA only allows 20 a week. Many players complain that their football obligations are keeping them from studying and even getting into classes that they want to take. This is leading to Emmert asking for reform to give student-athletes more time to focus on their studies.
There has been plenty of criticism over what Jim Harbaugh is doing at Michigan but this is not the only problem that his program has created. Harbaugh has been criticized getting the school to spend about $10,000 per day on recruiting trips. The team has created satellite camps for prospects with many of them being held in sites where SEC teams are located, thus causing the SEC to cry foul.
Harbaugh has argued that the team has engaged in plenty of recreational activities during the trip. Also, he states that for some players, this is only way how they can afford to get into big spring break events. What do you think about the angle of schools now being able to hold lavish spring break trips being a recruiting advantage? Should the NCAA act?