The Power 5 conferences responded quickly to one of Jim Harbaugh’s unorthodox recruiting strategies this week at the annual NCAA convention.
Less than a year after the coach took the Michigan football team to Florida to practice during spring break, the autonomy conferences passed new legislation that would prohibit that going forward. There had already been vocal support for creating such a rule earlier this week.
Autonomy conferences pass, 58 to 22, prohibition of off-campus practice during a vacation period outside the championship season. #NCAAConv
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) January 20, 2017
It appears the “Harbaugh rule” will go into effect next offseason, in the spring of 2018. It will prevent programs from holding off-campus practices during vacation periods that happen during the offseason.
The Wolverines spent their 2017 spring break in Bradenton, Fla., for a week of practice at IMG Academy, a national high school football powerhouse that attracts many of the country’s top recruits. The Wolverines landed two recruits for their 2017 class from IMG in December: 4-star C Cesar Ruiz and 4-star OLB Jordan Anthony.
The March trip was part of the team’s designated spring practices. The team reportedly drew 5,000 people for an open practice that week.
“We all agree, that’s something that should not happen,” said Brady Bramlett, co-chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Ccommittee, earlier this week. “We’re very adamant that, in your non-championship season, if you have a vacation period, it should really be a vacation period.”
Harbaugh has used other strategies to improve Michigan’s recruiting in Florida and the southeast. His staff worked at 33 satellite camps across the country over the summer of 2016.