Consider this reason No.455 why NCAA athletes should receive financial compensation.
The University of Michigan football is conducting spring practice more than a thousand miles away from Ann Arbor in Bradenton, Florida, at the IMG Academy. In case you didn’t know, IMG Academy is a boarding school for so-called elite level high school athletes.
And yes, this is allowed by the NCAA. Bylaw (18.104.22.168) governs how much a team can practice (15 times), and the amount of time (34 calendar days), and how much contact takes place (only in 12 of the 15 practices). There is absolutely nothing in there about where they practice.
So, if Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh wanted, he could have taken his team to Hawaii for practice. Of course, there are far better players in Florida than Hawaii. And let’s never forget the sole purpose of this trip is recruiting.
Bringing the Wolverines south has drawn the ire of several coaches at Southern schools, and the SEC commissioner’s office.
They have taken offense to the Wolverines coming to IMG Academy, where not surprisingly, the Wolverines have offered 20 scholarships to members of the IMG football team.
Of course, even though the Wolverines can practice at IMG, the coaching staff is permitted to talking with potential recruits during their visit.
The southern coaches are obviously pissed because, No. 1), they didn’t think of it, and No. 2), it definitely gives the Wolverines a boosts in recruiting, especially in the football talent rich state of Florida.
But what no one is thinking about is the absurdity of it all.
The NCAA doesn’t mind if Michigan pays to fly its football team down to roundtrip to Florida, house and feed them while they are there. However, they are totally against these athletes receiving some sort of stipend, despite the fact they are a key piece to the billion dollar business that is NCAA Division I athletics.
Now, I am sure the members of the Michigan football team are enjoying their spring break in the warm breezes of Florida. It is still winter time in the Detroit area, which just got hit by a snowstorm a couple of days ago.
The NCAA has indoctrinated so many athletes into thinking this is just the way it is, that they don’t even consider anything else.
I have heard some people say they need to get away from the harsh weather in Ann Arbor. Nope. Even if it were a foot of snow in Ann Arbor, they could still practice. The Wolverines have a state of the art, multi-million dollar, practice facility on campus.
This is simply Harbaugh enhancing the Michigan football brand, and its recruiting.
I assure you, no one has thought at Michigan that the thousands of dollars used to make a Florida trip could be used for the student-athletes.
After all, the athletes don’t get paid, even though practically everyone else involved in college football does.
This is just the latest example of players being taking advantage of. The sad thing about this, as the Michigan football players practice in the warm tropical breezes in the Sunshine State, is they don’t even realize it.