I talked to a couple of well placed sources and yes, Jim Harbaugh has reached out to multiple NFL teams about potentially making the move back to the league. No, he does not want to leave Michigan, he loves the school but HATES the administration. He’s doing it because the University of Michigan doesn’t want to be involved in the NIL game. No, they can’t stop players from profiting off their name, image or likeness but they also don’t have to be a willing partner in the University like Texas A & M and even Sparty up the road in E. Lansing.
That is the problem. The University of Michigan is a socialist institution who believes it’s only an “institution of higher learning” NOT a football team. This is what I have told you for a long time. Whenever the NIL situation comes up there is violent push back from Provosts and Professors who believe they should also be allowed to recruit the top students in the world, it’s the age old argument on steroids. Trust me when I say “capitalism” is a dirty word in Ann Arbor.
Michigan has a weak Athletic Director, he’s a politician who has zero pull with his bosses, that is why Harbaugh is being forced to play hard ball to get a serious NIL program in place like they have at Texas A & M. The sources tell me Harbaugh just wants to win football games, he isn’t interested in jerking around with transfer requirement or a subpar NIL program. The lack of an NIL program is a deal breaker and Harbaugh will leave if Michigan declines to play with the big boys.
Harbaugh is being very strategic here, he knows his salary was an issue based on his record against Ohio State, Warde used that opportunity to cut his pay in half, Harbaugh took it like a man because he really isn’t driven by salary, he is driven by football and family. It was smart of Harbaugh to donate his $2 million in bonus money because he knew this fight was coming and didn’t want ANYBODY at The University of Michigan to claim he was only looking for a raise. He knew he would get the typical leftist complaints about the Head Coach making more than President. Harbaugh is the bulwark against CFB death for Michigan, this simply has to get done and Harbaugh will never have more leverage to get a coherent NIL program for The University of Michigan.
Let me explain the difference in Michigan’s NIL and a real NIL. Some Michigan players have NIL deals, “Valiant” has a deal with some players, Tom Brady signed Cade McNamara to his clothing line and M-Den has a deal with the program. However, some teams have deals that are facilitated by their Universities like Texas A & M, Georgia and even Sparty. The University needs to hire a Director of NIL and let him secure sponsorship deals for all team, mostly football and basketball.
My sources also told me Harbaugh would require full control of any NFL team, not just as Head Coach. He had a bad situation in San Francisco and doesn’t want a repeat of the mess with the 49ers. There is a chance he won’t get full control with any team, but there might be a few who would listen to that offer….like the Raiders should they make a change. The Raiders currently have an HC and may not make a change if they make the playoffs. Make no mistake, Harbaugh is the one reaching out, he is attempting to create a market for his services to use as leverage against the nuts in Ann Arbor and he will take a gig if NIL fails.
I’m told Jim has had discussions with Warde about NIL and Manuel seemed to believe it would be a tough putt to drag Michigan into a new era of CFB.
So, if NIL dies, so does Michigan Athletics, there will be no funding for secondary men’s sports or lame women’s sports. The stadium will be empty and it will wither and fall by the wayside.
If Harbaugh leaves, you know NIL is dead and so are the Wolverines. I believe we have reached code red status.