Harbaugh to Tennessee's Butch Jones: Focus on your team
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh suggested on Twitter that Tennessee coach Butch Jones should focus on his own team instead of tweeting about having lunch in Florida, where the Wolverines are holding spring practice this week at the IMG Academy.
Jones and the Volunteers athletic program have been doing damage control recently after a lawsuit filed by a group of women alleged that the University of Tennessee violated Title IX regulations with a policy of indifference toward assaults by student-athletes.
In a filing in the case, a former Tennessee player accused Jones of calling him a traitor for helping a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by two Vols players.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema started this Twitter folly Wednesday when he posted: ''After early meetings & lift tomorrow with our players. Thinking about heading to watch an open practice tomorrow at IMG with the staff.''
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio retweeted Bielema's post and added: ''Want to do lunch?''
Jones chimed in, tweeting at the two coaches: ''Mind if I join you guys for lunch?''
Last week, IMG Academy's football coach announced on Twitter that Tennessee had offered 20 of his players scholarships.
Harbaugh, who might be the most active and notable major college football coach on Twitter, responded Thursday afternoon, about an hour after the Wolverines finished their third of four practices in Florida.
''Suggestion to my Rocky Top colleague, rather than lunch in Florida you might spend your time and focus attending to your present team.''
Michigan is paying to use IMG Academy's facilities for practice this week. The players and coaches are prohibited by NCAA rules from being in contact with IMG players while on campus and the NCAA has sent two officials to monitor the Wolverines this week.
Michigan's final practice on Friday will be held in IMG's 5,000-seat football stadium and is open to the public, meaning high school coaches and players from the area could attend and sit in the stands as any fan would. Even if Bielema and the other coaches wanted to attend, they couldn't.
Football recruiting is in a quiet period and college coaches are not allowed on high school campuses.
AP College Football website: collegefootball.ap.org