It looks like Jim McElwain is someone who is completely comfortable going against the grain; that is when the grain is the entire SEC crying foul when a Big Ten coach holds several camps in the heart of conference territory.
Some SEC coaches and even the conference’s commissioner took issue with Jim Harbaugh’s decision to hold Michigan practices at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. And that’s putting it lightly.
However, Florida’s head coach said “more power” to Harbaugh, adding that the Wolverines coach didn’t break any NCAA rules by bringing his team to Florida for spring break.
McElwain on Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh holding practice at IMG: "More power to him. It's totally legal."
— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) March 8, 2016
McElwain’s entire quote, via SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi:
“I kind of look it as more power to him. It’s totally legal. He’s not doing anything that’s illegal. He’s pressing the envelopes, he’s putting their name in the paper every day. And you know, that’s cool. I mean I’d come to Florida, too. There’s great players here, right? There’s a reason every school in the country comes here and recruits. So I think for them it’s trying to gain an edge and give them an opportunity to practice in great weather. I don’t plan on taking ours to Michigan. I’m all for what he’s doing.”
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey claimed that he tried to block Michigan from holding the IMG practices. Even NCAA president Mark Emmert shared his concerns on the “demands on student athletes,” although no action against the Michigan program or Harbaugh was taken. Georgia’s Kirby Smart also made a fuss about the camps.
McElwain’s response is quite refreshing, because college football is a dog-eat-dog world and the practices are held in his home state after all. And, honestly, a lot of these coaches complaining are probably mad they didn’t think of it before.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports