$5,000 to $6,000 a person for Rome Trip

Submitted by LLG on June 16th, 2017 at 10:01 AM

"Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said the football team’s trip to Rome in late April will wind up costing between $750,000 and $800,000, all of which was covered by an unrestricted financial gift by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous."

Also of note:

"The Michigan men’s tennis team went to France for a week and played in tournaments and dropped by the French Open. The women’s basketball team is going to Italy in August."



The Krusty Kra…

June 16th, 2017 at 10:06 AM ^

About how the fact it was an unrestricted donation and didn't "pay the players" made it superflouous. I would punch that writer in the face. I spoke to a few of the players I know casually since they returned, and they would not trade that trip for a sum of money. The experiences were priceless for many of them, especially those who did not leave the country before heading to Rome. Haters gonna hate, but as Harbaugh said, this Rome trip was one of the greatest things this team could have done away from the football field. 

Everyone Murders

June 16th, 2017 at 10:13 AM ^

My only fear about the Rome trip is that the non-rev sports might get short shrift, leading to (i) feelings of being second class citizens in the student-athlete community and (ii) potential Title IX problems.  It's great that the wealth is getting spread around.

To be clear, I'm a fan of the football team taking this trip.  I just want other student athletes to enjoy similar experiences.  (Although the experiences will never be "similar" given that our bat-shit [in a good way] head football coach impacts the experience in ways other coaches won't.)


June 16th, 2017 at 4:05 PM ^

as an Olympic sport non-revenue athlete I joked that if my mom, dad, and dog showed up that was a record crowd. All the same Philly, Texas, Tucson, Palo Alto, Gainseville, Tuscaloosa, Los Angeles every year was no joke. And every trip there were at least two days worth of casual time to see Alcatraz, visit the Alamo, see the Seguaro Forest, etc...never once complained about what football got or where they went...without them we didn't exisit.


June 16th, 2017 at 8:11 PM ^

That'd be pretty cool if an alum/donor wanted to throw, say, $7.5 million or so at the university to attach their name to the head badminton coach...or even just $1 million to a badminton defensive coordinator.

There is a reason that most of us would pay hundreds (sometimes thousands) every year to watch football and basketball but wouldn't fork out $10 to watch other sporting events.


June 16th, 2017 at 3:22 PM ^

Alternatively, he could try and drum up some interest for "Ditka's On The Square". I mean, think of the lunch rush on certain holidays - that alone has to make it worthwhile. 

Of course, I don't know the official policy on opening restaurants in the Vatican is, but it might be worth the research. 


June 16th, 2017 at 10:21 AM ^

That's quite cheap. Airfare alone was probably in the $1500-$2000 range per player. No idea what hotels they stayed in, but that was probably another $1500-$2000 or so (for a week), maybe a little less. That leaves $1000 or $2000 or so for food, entertainment, incidentals, etc. for a week, which is not as much as you'd think in Rome. In fact, if any of the players snuck out for "a few beers" one night, that $1000 may have vanished in one night alone... 

True Blue Grit

June 16th, 2017 at 10:23 AM ^

given it's a one week trip to Europe in an expensive city, and presumably includes shipping all the equipment over there too.  Amazing there are people with so much money they can plunk down $800K as a donation like that.  But it's a good use of the money.  


June 16th, 2017 at 10:48 AM ^

Stephen Ross has not been shy about receiving recognition for his donations.  

My guess is that it is someone who does not want the donation to be tainted by who he is - i.e. Dave Brandon giving back his severance after he was hired at Toys R Us.


June 16th, 2017 at 10:43 AM ^

It sounds like a great deal to me.

Try to put a price on the publicity that was generated. They got at least a 10X return on that, alone.

I'm surprised the bill was that low. Guys their size should really be flying 1st class.

Thanks to those who made it possible. Go Blue!


June 16th, 2017 at 11:40 AM ^

SpinachAssasin:  Thanks for pointing out that Brian covered it on the UV yesterday.  I didn't lift it from there (I saw it independently) but I appreciate you pointing it out. 


June 16th, 2017 at 11:43 AM ^

SpinachAssasin:  Given that you are correct and also that Brian put the article in a big yellow block quote, I do apologize.  My sense is that people didn't see it given the comments, but I can understand people not wanting repetitive content.


June 16th, 2017 at 12:59 PM ^

I was being a bit snarky about it too, so there's that..

Regardless, a cool story that I'm sure hack writers and Hugh Freeze will find a way to complain about how this is bad for amateurism or some other nonsense.

Happy Friday!


June 16th, 2017 at 9:30 PM ^

Could easily drop that for a team-building excercise. We're liquid enough that  I could too if I wished to be poor in my old age, which is sadly fast approaching.  Money well-spent. Consider that some of these young people would otherwise never have a glance at the outside world. Money costs pale in comparison with that. Priceless.

Mr. Yost

June 17th, 2017 at 5:35 AM ^

If you're not going to pay the student athletes...IMO, this is a solid alternative or at least a good first step.

Can we go back to college football video games now?

Der Alte

June 17th, 2017 at 10:01 AM ^

If I had an extra $800 grand lying around that I didn't need I'd be happy to donate it to Michigan football and provide the team with the opportunity for another lifetime experience. "Travel broadens," as people are wont to say, and the Rome trip assuredly gave team members a new and widened life perspective. And hey, they're at an educational institution --- isn't a widened perspective one of the things an education is supposed to be about?

Besides, as irrelevant to the issue as it is, $5000 - $6000 is just at the upper per-person range of most 10-day to 2-week tours (Smithsonian, Viking, Road Scholar, and others). So given the extra expense of hauling team equipment and so on, the per-person cost itself was hardly exorbitant.