The University of Michigan announced yesterday that its football team will using three of their 15 spring practices in Rome, Italy. I know some people are going to get upset about this, especially since I go to Michigan State, but seriously think about it.
Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of people traveling to experience a new culture. If you want to study abroad, go for it. I encourage that. That is not what I find wrong or irrational about it.
It's the fact that their football team get to go over there to "practice" three times and do all sorts of other stuff for free, which just seems ridiculous on so many levels.
First of all, Italy is known for football, and by football I am talking about soccer, not American football. To practice a sport that is barely a thing over there (yes, I know of the Italian Football League, but still) seems very unhelpful and senseless for them to do this. Whatever they do to practice over there can be done over here. They literally won't learn anything new, football wise that is.
I also can't picture Coach Jim Harbaugh in Rome with his khakis. Although he is known for doing absurd things like having Tom Brady and Derek Jeter come to the U of M signing event and having a sleepover with someone who was a possible recruit, going to Rome for football practice might be his biggest stunt yet.
Sure, college basketball teams take training trips to Europe once every four years, but they play European professional teams, not just practice. Also, taking 20 people is much different from taking 100.
In an interview, Harbaugh literally said that he and the team are going to be ambassadors of the United States and University of Michigan during their visit to Rome. Why though? You guys aren't that relevant. We don't want a man child who is known for throwing temper tantrums, being totally shady, and whining about referees and opponents to represent the USA.
Besides, universities are not supposed to technically give NCAA athletes extra benefits, and the last time I checked, going on a trip to a foreign country for free is an extra benefit. I mean if any other college students wanted to study abroad, they would have to pay and actually study. Maybe that's just my opinion though. But then again, Michigan isn't quite known for following all the rules and it isn't completely out of the ordinary for them to try to push the limits.
It's not surprising that U of M football would go over the top either, they have always thought they are better than everyone else. I mean their favorite saying after all is "Who's got it better than us?" Even though it is not 100 percent out of the ordinary for Michigan and Harbaugh to send their team to Rome, it is still completely ridiculous.