While Jim Harbaugh hasn’t quite made the waves he usually does around the college football world this offseason, the Michigan head coach did raise some eyebrows a few months ago when he took the Wolverines all the way to Italy in the spring. The trip coincided with a few days of spring football practice and included a handful of cultural activities that even resulted in a visit to meet the Pope himself. All that fun, games and pizza cost the athletic department a pretty penny as you could expect and this week we learned just how much the total bill was.
“It’s going to come in around $750,000, $800,000,” UM athletic director Warde Manuel said Tuesday, according to the Detroit News. “It will be about $5,000 to $6,000 a person, so it was a great investment. It was just terrific. We pay them through an educational experience like Michigan does all the time. I don’t think about it in terms of paying our athletes but if people want to say we should give something to our students of value, I can’t think of a better way to invest in them for their lifetime and their experience.”
While some may question the use of so much money to take an entire football team all the way to Rome, the cost was fully paid for thanks to a donation from a donor who wished to remain anonymous. Whatever your stance is on paying student-athletes, spending that much to take them across the pond to Europe is at least a nice perk and brings the Wolverines’ football team up to par with other sports who go on foreign tours from time to time.
Harbaugh has already pledged to keep taking his team abroad to other destinations so at least now future Michigan donors have an idea of how much to write down on their check.