Interpreting Jim Harbaugh’s statement about staying at Michigan Football

Syndication: Arizona Republic
Syndication: Arizona Republic /

Jim Harbaugh put out a statement that he expects to be the Michigan football head coach in 2023 but it wasn’t as strong as it could have been. 

After days of rumors, innuendo, and concern for Michigan football fans, Jim Harbaugh made a public statement on Thursday confirming, sort of, that he would be back in 2023.

It wasn’t exactly an unequivocal statement saying that he will return. Yet, he addressed the NFL rumors and said that he expects to be the Michigan football coach in 2023.

There was some hedge of course and the statement wasn’t as strong as a few weeks ago when he said he would be coaching Michigan enthusiastically in 2023.

Here’s the tweet from Michigan football with the full statement:

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Harbaugh basically said again, “No man knows his future.” However, he also said he’s talked to athletic director Warde Manuel and Michigan President Santa Ono and he appreciates their support.

At the end of the day, I would take it as a good sign that he’ll be coming back. Yet, I don’t think it’s a done deal quite yet, especially with what John Bacon tweeted earlier saying nobody knows anything and hinting toward Harbaugh being upset at the NCAA about potential violations.

These threads from Bacon are well worth the read. It talks about his contract issues, frustration with the NCAA, and everything else.

It would be baffling for the NCAA which is reportedly investigating Michigan football for some ‘minor infractions’ to level the Wolverines with any sort of serious penalty considering what else is happening around the sport.

To me, it seems like that could be the wildcard to all of this. Harbaugh is probably already frustrated with the direction of NIL, especially since Michigan football has clearly been left behind in that arena, no matter what anyone says.

There is supposed to be a plan in place to get things fixed and Bacon talks about nearly $8 million in NIL donations since a recent announcement, but still, the Wolverines have a lot of work to do in that area and it’s impacted recruiting in a big way, especially in the 2023 class.

For all of those reasons, I’ll say again what I’ve said since last season: give Jim Harbaugh a $100 million dollar deal that makes it clear he’s not going anywhere.

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It’s what he deserves and for the value he brings to the University of Michigan, it’s an absolute bargain. Harbaugh isn’t about money. But the school needs to show its willingness to win at the highest level and it starts with an investment in its elite head coach.