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Michigan Football In France: Donors For Michigan’s Overseas Trips Revealed

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PARIS — Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh revealed the donors behind his team’s trips to Rome and Paris Wednesday in France.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, worth a reported $7 Billion, funded last year’s trip to Rome, and he and fellow alum Don Graham of The Graham Group (industrial businesses and investment-management firms) took care of the bill this year.

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Last year’s trip cost between $700,000 and $800,000, and this year’s is expected to be around $800,000, as well.

“Two great Michigan guys, especially Bobby,” Harbaugh said. “They’re the best.

“Bobby doesn’t want anything said. He doesn’t want anybody to know that, but it’s a hard secret to keep.”

Activision Blizzard is the company that produces the popular 'Call of Duty' video games.

Kotick told him he’d fund the trips as long as they wanted to go, Harbaugh shared Wednesday. The Michigan alum was an honorary captain in 2016 and will get another game in the near future, Harbaugh said … “for sure.”

Harbaugh said yesterday South Africa would likely be next year’s destination, with Johannesburg and Cape Town on the agenda. He said today that Greece, Barcelona and Cuba are also being considered ... he spoke more on that earlier this week during his podcast.

“When we went to Rome and The Vatican last year and met the Pope, I didn't think anything could top that — and nothing has," he said. "I took courses on Normandy and what all occurred there, but you can't understand the level of sacrifice that was made until you're standing on Omaha Beach and the cemetery there. We owe those soldiers a debt of gratitude.

"This is priceless, in my opinion. The amount of things each person has learned here and the way they've connected with with people from other countries — it’s hard to explain. I’d like to go to Africa next year — Johannesburg and Cape Town. We’re starting the planning for it. After that, we may go to Greece. Perry from The Brown Jug [restaurant in Ann Arbor] is convincing me Athens would be a great place to go.”

We'll likely know for sure this summer, but one thing's for certain, having seen them up close ... these are incredible learning experiences for the student-athletes and memories they'll never forget.

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