Is Michigan considering practicing in Rome this spring?

Is Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh talking to an official or pondering what he'll do in Italy? (Getty)
Is Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh talking to an official or pondering what he’ll do in Italy? (Getty)

Michigan may be getting even more adventurous for its spring practices in 2017.

According to Rivals’, Michigan is considering traveling to Rome for a week of spring practices and there could “perhaps” be a formal announcement of the plan next week.

The plan – not necessarily in response to the NCAA’s legislation, though it probably is – is to take the team to Rome, Italy this spring for a week of spring ball, followed by study abroad for several members of the football team (not just limited to Rome, we’ve heard).

This has been in the works since last fall but a trip like this requires plenty of planning and great detail. Team doctors were told to get their passports ready, etc., and to prepare.

The NCAA’s Power Five conference commissioners voted 58-22 Friday to ban off-campus practices during an offseason vacation period. The rule prohibits Michigan from hosting spring practice in Florida over spring break like it did in 2016.

Per The Wolverine, the plan would mean a week in Rome after practicing in Ann Arbor and would be open to all athletes at Michigan. The Detroit Free Press notes that Michigan’s semester ends on April 27, meaning a trip after the semester’s conclusion wouldn’t be subject to the vacation rule.

The idea sounds crazy, but this is Michigan and coach Jim Harbaugh after all. His satellite camps initially sounded crazy. But they worked. And his spring practices in Florida got attention … and eventually banned. Given that basketball teams routinely go overseas in the summer to play exhibition games, overseas trips for college athletes aren’t unprecedented.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!