Michigan's football team spent $348,553 to go on head coach Jim Harbaugh's ideal spring break in February. Considering the travel party was likely more than 100 people, the Wolverines paid a couple of thousand dollars per head for an all-inclusive, weeklong trip to the beach -- not too bad.
The expense report, first obtained by the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, included a breakdown of the costs. The Wolverines spent $107,148 on flights, $51,395 on ground transportation and $39,519 on per diems and meals not provided by their hosts.
The largest payment -- $146,912 -- went to IMG Academy, the high school in Bradenton, Florida, where the team stayed and practiced. That money covered lodging on campus, team meals and use of the school's facilities, which put some smaller colleges to shame. The team practiced four times during their five-day stay in Bradenton.
The trip caused a stir among Harbaugh's detractors in the South. Coaches and administrators from the SEC and ACC objected ostensibly because the practices occurred during Michigan's spring break and robbed the players of a chance to get away from their heavy workload for a few days. The Pac-12 released a report earlier this week on how to balance the time demands placed on student-athletes and one of its recommendations was to prohibit trips like the one Michigan made. All Michigan players who were asked said they were very much in favor of an expenses-paid opportunity to get out of Ann Arbor in February.
IMG Academy is home to 11 prospects heading into their senior high school seasons on the ESPN 300 list, including the nation's top-ranked athlete, Dylan Moses. Recruits weren't allowed to interact with Michigan during their stay but could attend the team's final practice of the week, which was open to the public.