Jim Harbaugh is nothing if not a man who pushes the boundaries and thinks outside of the box. Last year it was a tour around the globe for satellite camps and a spring break trip to IMG Academy in Florida.

The NCAA put the end to the spring break trips with a new rule barring organized football-related activities when school is not in session during the academic year. No worries for Harbaugh, as he likely saw that ban coming a mile away.

Instead, his team is off to Rome, Italy for an international trip that will help spread the gospel of Jim Harbaugh and Michigan Wolverines football. On National signing Day, Harbaugh revealed that he has a five-year plan for these types of international trips for his team, which includes journeys to South Africa, Japan, and Israel.

First up is the trip to Rome on April 22-30, but it certainly seems as if this plan has been a long-term one from the very beginning. How else do you explain plans for trips to South Africa, Japan, and Israel?

Credit Harbaugh for finding another way to make going to Michigan stand out. Who wouldn’t want a trip out of the country while mixing in a little football and some time away from the classroom?

He’s also smart enough to put these trips in places few kids will likely ever get to see without being a part of the “Michigan family,” as he likes to so fondly refer to the program as.

The only question is if the rest of the conferences and coaches will be so bitter and jealous they didn’t think of these ideas first. If so, expect them to push for rule changes barring international team trips unless they are for games.

We could likely expect Harbaugh to find another way to push the envelope of NCAA rules even then.

Such is the ongoing cat-and-mouse game that Harbaugh is playing with the NCAA rulebook. It is simply hilarious and fascinating to watch from afar.

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a contributor to The Comeback as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10. He also is a member of the FWAA and has been covering college sports since 2011. Andy is an avid soccer fan and runs the Celtic FC site The Celtic Bhoys. If he's not writing about sports, you can find him enjoying them in front of the TV with a good beer!