I have no direct idea what Jim Harbaugh is doing. I still think there is little chance he is leaving Michigan for the NFL, even though it hasn’t been reciprocated, Harbaugh has declared his love of the University at every turn.
Sam Webb claimed tonight that Harbaugh told a 2021 signee that he might “entertain offers from the NFL,” but that sounds very far fetched to me. I can’t imaging a recruit would sign with Michigan knowing Harbaugh would potentially leave for the NFL. That seems counter intuitive based on Harbaugh’s belief that the constant NFL rumors were hindering recruiting since he returned to Michigan. I think it’s more likely he told players he would entertain NFL offers in order to jump start the non-existent Michigan NIL program. Why else would a play come to Michigan without the belief that Harbaugh would be their coach?
However, there are a couple of things that Michigan fans and the administration have to acknowledge….if he is unhappy at Michigan it starts and ends with the ridiculous criticism over the last 7 years that he “was a disappointment.” Fans acted like he was some sort of low rent hack like Brady Hoke when he was winning 75% of his games. The argument always lacked nuance and was the laziest take imaginable.
Harbaugh only ever wanted to “feel the love,” which was his stated reason for not coming to Michigan the first time when they hired Rich Rod. He not only didn’t “feel the love” from fans and the administration, he was shit on at every turn. Every turn! If he leaves one could hardly blame him, the vocal minority of the fan base tried to run him out of town for Matt Campbell on multiple occasions….they might get their wish.
I don’t think Jim is leaving, I think he is playing much needed hardball with a University that is clueless about the changing landscape of college football. He needs assurances that Michigan will compete, otherwise what is the point of staying. I don’t think it’s about the money at all, I think it’s about making sure Michigan commits to Harbaugh and the football program. He needs EVERYTHING in writing or there are NO assurances that the new President will keep any commitment to the program. They have already proven that they would not hesitate to screw Harbaugh and the program.
Think about it, Penn State and Sparty committed huge amount of money to very mediocre Head Coaches while Michigan was basically putting their coach on a “performance improvement plan.” They essentially put him on probation. Harbaugh isn’t some unproven commodity, he is one of the best coaches at any level of football and we all knew yet the vocal idiots bitched about his failure to beat OSU. Nobody bothered to look at it objectively or reasonably. if It’s just nonsensical. Not to mention Harbaugh won the B1G title and jackasses are still pissed at the hiccup against Sparty.
This is a real turning point for Michigan, if Harbaugh leaves, you will know they are not willing to compete in a changing college landscape and 2021 will likely be the last great season of Michigan football. If he signs and stays you will know he has a concrete commitment from the top that Michigan will hang with the CFB powers.
I wouldn’t panic at all, but Harbaugh’s decision will tell you everything you need to know about the very survival of the program.
Maybe the chicken have come home to roost for an ungrateful and disloyal group of fans!