Power 5 ban spring break practice trips, limit workout times

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday January 20, 2017

The Autonomous 5 have passed several new rules that apply to their leagues, regarding workouts, days off, spring break practice and more.

The rules only apply to P5 schools, but other schools can opt in.

- The P5 conferences voted 80-0 to prohibit athletic-related activities between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. (other than competition). That means no more 5 a.m. lifts and workouts, for example.

- The group also passed a proposal to prohibit off-campus practice during a vacation period outside of the season. This is a specific result of Michigan’s trip to IMG Academy in Florida last spring. Several coaches — inside and outside the SEC  — spoke out against it last year. Harbaugh said he didn’t see the big deal and noted other sports practice over spring break.

“I don’t know why,” Harbaugh said last spring. “Our tennis team will be hitting balls this week.”

Harbaugh also said he didn’t see it as a recruiting advantage, which I’m pretty sure no one else agrees with. In defending it at Friday’s meeting, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel brought up basketball teams that go on summer trips, asking why spring break was different. But it didn’t win enough people over.

The rule didn't get proposed until after we took the football team down to Florida for spring break,” Manuel told ESPN. “So I think you can read into that as you will.”

Many Michigan players said they enjoyed the trip. But as has proven to be the case with Harbaugh, he pushes the envelope so far that backlash leads to stricter regulations. Satellite camp restrictions are expected to happen in April.

ESPN’s Mitch Sherman noted Big Ten schools voted 11-3 in favor of the spring break ban, but student athletes on the committee voted 11-4 against the ban.

Other proposals passed include:

- 21 additional days off during the academic year, including 7 days immediately at the end of the season. There are limited exceptions for travel and life skills programs. This passed unanimously.

- A day off each week during preseason and vacation periods when classes are not in session. This passed 58-22.

- Schools can award financial aid retroactively within an academic year. This passed 73-7.

- Schools can provide “reasonable entertainment” to athletes during the academic year. This passed 55-25.

- Schools must develop a time management plan for each sport outlining team activities.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.