Jan. 23, 2017
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan football program announced Monday (Jan. 23) a special educational and football experience for its student-athletes, with a week of learning and spring practice in Rome.
Michigan Football will travel to Rome, Italy, after finals toward the end of winter semester in April for an extraordinary life experience during the spring practice season. The players and staff will use three of the allotted 15 spring football practices in Rome, training at AS Roma, the professional Italian football (soccer) club in the city.
During the trip to Rome, the Wolverines will be immersed in the culture of Italy. The team will visit historic landmarks, spend time with youth at orphanages, and visit deployed U.S. military in the country amongst other team activities. The experience will culminate with a youth clinic, and the team will play a scrimmage that will be open to the Italian public.
"Over the past few decades student-athletes in other sports have had the opportunity to participate in international training trips to practice and prepare for the upcoming season," said Warde Manuel, U-M's Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "This is a tremendous opportunity for these young men to learn about and experience another culture, connect with the people of Italy, and showcase American football internationally. The University of Michigan has always encouraged our students to gain knowledge through international experiences, and we are so glad to provide them with this opportunity."
"We were looking to provide our student-athletes with a great educational, cultural and international football experience," said Jim Harbaugh, U-M's J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach. "I am excited that our student-athletes will be able to take advantage of this amazing educational opportunity, be exposed to another culture, and be ambassadors for the United States and the University of Michigan during our visit to Rome."
In addition, all of the students that participate in football will have the chance to explore international internships, study abroad or service opportunities.
"The study abroad and international internships will better prepare our student-athletes to compete in today's global economy," added Harbaugh. "We are committed to offering our students a broad experience that will prepare these young men for life after football."
SPRING PRACTICE IN ANN ARBOR: The Wolverines will hold a free, open-to-the-public spring football practice on Saturday, April 15, at Michigan Stadium. The details for the day will be set and announced in the future.