Jim Harbaugh and Michigan football are currently spending their spring breaks down in Bradenton, Fla. at IMG Academy for spring football practices, which most of the college football world has been upset about. The SEC, including head coaches and even commissioner Greg Sankey, has openly expressed its disproval of Harbaugh and Michigan spending a week in the fertile recruiting grounds of IMG.
Despite all the criticism, there is one successful head coach in college football who doesn’t have a problem with Harbaugh in Florida is Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. Fisher, in a recent interview with the Palm Beach Post, actually was impressed that Harbaugh was able to make the week-long trip in Florida perfectly within the rules of the NCAA.
“I applaud the guy,” Fisher told the Palm Beach Post. “He’s doing things he has to do to be successful.
“Jim beat the rules. That fine. I applaud Jim for trying to do something different.”
The one thing that Fisher does have a problem with, however is the fact that Fisher and three other coaches, one being Alabama’s Nick Saban, were asked by IMG to speak at a coach’s clinic in late April. Fisher agreed, but later had to back out when he was informed it would be an NCAA violation by FSU’s compliance department.
“I started thinking — we can’t speak on their campus during the evaluation period and they’re allowed to practice there when no coaches are allowed to be out (recruiting)?” Fisher said. “Don’t tell us we can’t speak at a clinic there but they can practice.”
Michigan, through NCAA rules, is even allowed to invite recruiting prospects to practice on Friday, and the team will be able to participate in a number of off-field events around the state of Florida. Harbaugh himself is even going to moonlight as a first base coach for a Detroit Tigers’ spring training game in the Grapefruit League. All of this means exactly what it sounds like — the recruiting exposure this week for the Michigan program is going to be huge. Fisher adds that he isn’t too worried about how the week could affect recruiting.
“No, I don’t,” he said in the interview. “They’ll get some players. Michigan always came to Florida and got players.
“I promise I lose no sleep over it.”
So it appears not everyone in college football is that upset about Harbaugh spending a week practicing down in Florida.