February 19th, 2019 at 5:21 PM ^

From the Idaho Statesman:

Jim Harbaugh is taking Michigan's football team to South Africa in May.

Director of football operations Mark Taurisani tweeted about the trip Tuesday.

Like last year's visit to France , the Wolverines will not practice in South Africa. Harbaugh did have practices in Italy in 2017.

Michigan alumni Bobby Kotick and Don Graham funded last year's trip, and Kotick paid for the visit to Italy. Harbaugh has said Kotick will pay for the tours as long as the coach wants to do them. Harbaugh has mentioned Greece, Spain and Cuba as possible destinations for the annual opportunities for his players to learn and bond.

yossarians tree

February 20th, 2019 at 2:21 PM ^

The Cuba trip is the one that makes absolutely no sense. I know it's all trendy now since the travel ban was lifted but people I know who have been there say it is basically just a poor country. In France and Italy the kids had amazing educational and sight-seeing opportunities. Cuba not so much. Even South Africa seems somewhat dubious with such a long flight there and back. I know that some players opted out of the last couple trips and I wouldn't be surprised if lots more back out of this one, especially since for many of them they can just go home for a week instead.

Indy Pete - Go Blue

February 19th, 2019 at 5:23 PM ^

Awesome stuff.  These athletes work so hard to field a competitive football team, and they are bringing so much money to the university. This is a wonderful way for our program to give back to these athletes who give so much. I hope that these trips are life-changing experiences for these young men. 

Edit: also, beat ohio state 

Perkis-Size Me

February 20th, 2019 at 1:51 PM ^

What do you care, WD? You're not paying for it. 

If the overly generous alums who are funding these trips don't want to do that anymore, then they're entirely within their rights to stop cutting checks. But this is a once in a lifetime experience for these kids, and they have every right to take advantage of the situation when it is offered to them. Many of these guys would otherwise never have the financial means to take a trip to the next state over. MUCH LESS take a trip to another continent in the opposite hemisphere. 

I think Harbaugh recognizes that life extends far beyond the football field. This is a reflection of that. 

BTB grad

February 19th, 2019 at 7:31 PM ^

Dude.... chill out. The shtick is getting old. Young men (many from very unfortunate circumstances who have never left the US) getting the cultural and intellectual experience of a lifetime >>> some random fan’s (you) desire to win a game. JH isn’t doing this to beat OSU. And he doesn’t care what you think either. 


February 21st, 2019 at 10:53 AM ^

They can’t make it to Indy so they shouldn’t be allowed to go abroad either?  The team loses zero practice time, takes $0 out of the athletic budget, so what part of this is a negative? It’s better to not win the conference and make an international trip than it is to not win the conference and not make the trip.  They are not related so why conflate the two?   


February 19th, 2019 at 7:10 PM ^

My first night in Jo-burg about 10 years ago, I grabbed a taxi from the airport to my hotel in Sun City. it's 10:30 or 11:00 at night. The cabbie is running all the red lights. I mean, just slightly slowing down, enough to see if traffic is coming, then blazing right through. No shame. After running 4 or 5 lights, I finally (politely) ask why he is so brazenly ignoring traffic laws. He tells me that at night everyone does it and the cops don't care, as in some neighborhoods the odds of getting carjacked at a red light are higher than 50-50. Yikes... 


February 19th, 2019 at 5:29 PM ^

This continues to be the best thing Michigan does as a football program. 


An actual, educational/cultural/fun experience for these young men who work so hard for our university. 


In many ways, it is more important than the results of a single game in November. 


It brings me much pride in my alma mater

M Ascending

February 20th, 2019 at 8:21 AM ^

How exciting! This is the best place Coach could take the team.  I hope they do at least the following things:

1.  Visit to Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years.

2.  Visit the slums of Soweto to understand the terrifying poverty that still exists in the world.

3. Take a photo safari to Kruger National Park, one of the best places in the world to view wildlife.

4.  Take in a Springboks rugby game -- and maybe even have a mock practice with the national team.  But be careful, they might decide to sign Ben Mason.

This will be an awesome experience for the team and for many may be a life-changing event.