If they want to get tricky, Bret Bielema thought on Wednesday, I can get tricky, too.
Thus, the Arkansas coach tweeted plans to attend Michigan’s practice Thursday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
“After early meetings & lift tomorrow with our players,” he wrote, “thinking about heading to watch an open practice tomorrow at IMG with the staff.”
Unfortunately for Bielema, the NCAA caught wind of his plans.
Thursday morning, the coach announced he would not be heading to Bradenton, after all.
“Just found out from NCAA office we can’t go to IMG open practice because in NCAA football it’s a quiet period,” Bielema tweeted.
It’s the latest episode in “Jim Harbaugh versus the SEC,” a recently aired series that began last month with Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey’s public request that the NCAA disallow Harbaugh’s Michigan team from practicing during spring break.
The Wolverines are currently in the midst of said practice, and Bielema is now part of a disapproving contingent that includes Sankey and Georgia coach Kirby Smart.
“If they’re all open practices why don’t we go and watch them?” Smart asked last week. “It’s a Pandora’s Box of what it’s going to get into, obviously.”
Harbaugh’s humorous reply featured a tone that — SEC be damned — underlined Michigan’s immunity.
“If the Georgia coach is implying any intent on our part to break rules,” Harbaugh tweeted, “he is barking up the wrong tree.”