Mark Emmert questions Michigan’s spring break practices, doubts change

NCAA president Mark Emmert voiced his concerns Friday regarding Michigan’s spring break practices.
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NCAA president Mark Emmert voiced his concerns Friday regarding Michigan’s spring break practices, reportsThe State’s Josh Kendall.

“There’s a difference between not being prohibited and being OK,” Emmert said, according to Kendall.

Earlier this month, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh announced his plans for the team to practice at the IMG Academy in Florida during the university’s spring break. Since then, the SEC has attempted to prevent the practices from being held, arguing that too much time is being demanded from student-athletes. ACC commissioner John Swofford also voiced his disapproval of Harbaugh’s plan.

According to current NCAA rules, the spring break practices are not prohibited, but the NCAA will reportedly meet in April to discuss a potential change in its regulations regarding the time student-athletes spend on athletics.

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“There is a big debate going on among administrators right now about how to provide more time off for student-athletes so the use of spring break for practices caused a lot of people to be concerned about it, and that’s an appropriate concern,” Emmert said. “We are trying to find ways to dial back the demands on student-athletes, not ramp them up.”

Emmert added that it is unlikely that a rule change will be made in time to prevent Harbaugh’s trip from taking place.

“No, I'm sure not,” Emmert told Kendall. 

The NCAA president added: “There is nothing he is doing that is against the rules. If the membership wants to change the rules, they need to do so.”

Michigan’s spring break will take place between Feb. 27 and March 6.