Michigan football: ESPN analyst comments on Jim Harbaugh contract, potential punishment

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines during the second half of Michigan's 31-7 win on Saturday, Sept. 23 2023, in Ann Arbor.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines during the second half of Michigan's 31-7 win on Saturday, Sept. 23 2023, in Ann Arbor. /

There was more commentary from Pete Thamel of ESPN on Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh and the latest NCAA investigation. 

Pete Thamel of ESPN has been one of the leading reporters of information when it comes to the Michigan fooball scandal.

While some of the information has certainly seemed one-sided, Thamel offered up some comments on Monday relating to all the talk surrounding Jim Harbaugh’s potential contract extension with Michigan football.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday night that the offer was rescinded. Yet, John Bacon and Jim Harbaugh pushed back against that. 

Here is what Pete Thamel said via On3.com.

"“We’ll start with Jim Harbaugh’s contract – while he did say, and sources confirmed to me that perhaps the reporting of the offer being rescinded was a little bit strong — it’s also highly unlikely that Michigan and Jim Harbaugh are going to agree to any kind of deal in the near future,” Thamel said. That’s a lot of traffic to deal with if they’re going to give a historic contract to a head coach.”"

The last part was an opinion and maybe he’s right, but Michigan football, if it had any brains, would sign Harbaugh to a long-term extension this week. Harbaugh wants to know he’s supported and appreciated and doing that would achieve both.

Thamel also comments on potential Big Ten punishment

The ESPN analyst also reinforced the idea that action from the Big Ten is unlikely before the end of this season for Michigan football.

Regardless of what rival fans think, Michigan has the right to tell its side of the story and defend itself. It should also get to question the origins of this investigation because it has Ohio State written all over it. 

Here’s more from Thamel:

"“Shifting to the Big Ten and what could happen to Harbaugh in the near future, as of right now, it’s unlikely for the Big Ten to take any imminent action against Harbaugh or Michigan, even though they technically have the authority to do so. Some of this has to do with process. While there’s certainly a lot of evidence that has emerged publicly, there’s not an established fact set yet for the Big Ten to act on.”"

Michigan deserves due process, as Thamel said. He correctly pointed out that there isn’t an established set of facts here. There are a lot of rumors and innuendo. But not much that’s concrete beyond Connor Stalions buying tickets for games.

Next. 15 Best Michigan Football careers ever in the NFL. dark