Well, that escalated quickly.
Michigan will hold its fourth and final practice Friday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Friday’s practice is open to the public and a few FBS coaches have joked on Twitter about making an appearance. It started with Arkansas’ Bret Bielema and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio.
After early meetings & lift tomorrow with our players. Thinking about heading to watch an open practice tomorrow at IMG with the staff. #WPS
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) March 2, 2016
But it wasn’t until Tennessee’s Butch Jones got in on the action that Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh decided to respond.
— Butch Jones (@UTCoachJones) March 2, 2016
Jones’ tweet seemed lighthearted in nature, but it doesn’t look like Harbaugh took it that way.
Suggestion to my Rocky Top colleague, rather than lunch in Florida you might spend your time and focus attending to your present team.
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) March 3, 2016
Tennessee’s offseason has been somewhat tumultuous with the Title IX investigation surrounding the university. Could Harbaugh be hinting at that? Otherwise, his response is a bit curious.
Plenty of folks, including NCAA president Mark Emmert, have expressed distaste with Michigan’s trip, especially since it’s taking place during the school’s spring break. Nonetheless, Harbaugh has made it very clear that he does not care what others think.
Dantonio was complimentary of the trip, calling it “creative,” but Jones hadn’t publicly voiced his opinion either way.
Even if these coaches were joking about making the trip to IMG (which is home to many of the country’s top football prospects), Bielema and Arkansas actually reached out to the NCAA to see if it would be allowable. Unsurprisingly, it isn’t because of a recruiting quiet period.
Just found out from NCAA office we can't go to IMG open practice because in NCAA football it's a quiet period 😳
Maybe next year #Jamaica
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) March 3, 2016
Arkansas senior associate athletic director Jon Fagg explained things in more detail in an interview with SiriusXM Radio.
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