Wolverines head to Rome! Are you not entertained?

michigan goes to romeI think he knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they’ll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they’ll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the senate, it’s the sand of the coliseum. He’ll bring them death – and they will love him for it. (Gracchus, from the film “Gladiator”)

OK, let’s rein it in a little.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who took his team to Florida for spring practices in 2016, will be taking his team to Rome this year, approximately four months before the NCAA makes it illegal to take a football team off campus during spring break.

He simply is taking advantage of a loophole this spring before the NCAA tightens it in August.

According to collegefootballtalk.com, this time the trip will come at the end of the semester instead of over spring break (the NCAA Division I Council banned off-campus trips over scheduled off days from the academic calendar).

The controversial college football coach said he is taking the players to Italy for a “weak of education and spring drills.” The practices will be held at the home of an Italian soccer club.

Criticize if you want, but other teams have made similar trips, albeit for a charitable cause (like this mission trip for former Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly and his teammates … or this one with former USC quarterback Matt Barkley). Yes, neither of those examples involved the whole team, but 15-20 players is still a large group.

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