Michigan nixes spring trip over coronavirus fears

Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines will not be traveling abroad in what has become an annual spring trip because of fears over the coronavirus, the school said Monday.

“The football team will not be taking an international trip this spring due to health concerns around the world, most notably coronavirus,” team spokesman Dave Ablauf told MLive.com in a text message. “[We’re] looking at doing some community service in the Ann Arbor area.”

Harbaugh has taken the Wolverines football team on privately funded spring trips to Italy (2017), France (2018) and South Africa over the past three years.

No location for this year’s trip had yet been announced by administrators, who were tasked with making the details for the first time after Harbaugh had done it for the previous three trips.

“I told them to surprise me,” Harbaugh told reporters in January. “The first trips … it was like a one-man band. I was doing it all. And it was all time-consuming.”

A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 80,000 people globally, and more than 2,600 deaths worldwide have been attributed to the virus. The World Health Organization has named the illness COVID-19, referring to its origin late last year and the coronavirus that causes it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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