The Michigan Wolverines football team will not be traveling abroad this spring as they have done the last three offseasons due to concerns about coronavirus, according to Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News.
There was no set destination this time around, as potential plans were still being worked on by the staff.
“The football team will not be taking an international trip this spring due to the health concerns around the world, most notably coronavirus,” U-M football SID Dave Ablauf said in a statement to The News.
This will be the first time since 2016 that Michigan has not traveled abroad for a portion of spring practices. They had previously gone to Rome in 2017, Paris in 2018 and South Africa last offseason. The trips had been funded by Michigan donors to give student-athletes a unique experience in sports and across the world, as the program was in a unique position to be able to do such things.
For a brief refresher on what coronavirus is, here’s an explanation from the World Health Organization:
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
The Wolverines will instead be kicking off spring football practices on March 17 and they will run through April 18 in an open practice at Michigan Stadium, which headlines a major weekend on campus for the athletics program.
Storylines for this year’s spring practices include the quarterback battle between Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton, breaking in four new starters on the offensive line, changes on the defensive side of the ball and much more.
The Wolverines and their eight early enrollees from the 2020 recruiting class have already been hard at work since the new year during winter conditioning leading up to the start of spring practices.
Cue the “good!!!! they should stay home and focus on football!!!” comments below