ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan's football team will spend its spring break on a practice field in Florida, head coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday afternoon.
The Wolverines' innovative head coach said the full team will be spending its week away from school at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The Wolverines plan to hold their first four spring practices on the high school's campus and mix in some non-football activities.
"We've got some good plans to have swim meets, putt-putt golf. We're going to have football meetings. We're going to have practices," Harbaugh said. "It gives us a chance to win on a lot of different levels."
Along with escaping the Michigan winter weather (spring break begins Feb. 27 for the university), Harbaugh gets to sequester his team in one place and give them bonding opportunities during the week. It also gives the Wolverines a good presence in a state full of prospective talent. IMG Academy regularly sends a handful of players to Division I football programs each year.
Harbaugh has found unprecedented ways to promote Michigan football since coming to Ann Arbor last January. He made waves last June by coaching at satellite camps in seven states. He also made a splash on Wednesday by hosting a two-hour live-streamed National Signing Day event that included guest appearances from Tom Brady, Derek Jeter and several other celebrities.
Michigan is allowed to foot the bill for the team's trip to Florida thanks to a recent change in NCAA rules. A revision that went into effect at the start of the 2014 football season allows teams to travel for off-site practices and pay for "reasonable entertainment" for players while they are on the road.