I DON'T WANNA WAIT FOR OUR LIVES TO BE OVER
I WANT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW WHAT WILL IT BE
wow never thought I'd be quoting Paula Cole on this blog
okay that's a lie
at least I can admit it, unlike NFL reporters
PRETTY MUCH. Clint Brewster talked to two guys($), one of whom said it's a "total ploy," no chance, lol GTFO. The other said it was a done deal. This coaching search in a nutshell.
ON THE LEAK. I've seen a lot of commenters and some respected media folk speculate about whether the numbers and existence of a hard offer becoming known to the public is good or bad for Michigan. I don't know; I do know that assertions that the agent is flogging it publicly in order to set Harbaugh's market price are not the whole story even if they are accurate.
The approximate number was out there in the Michigan paysite sphere for a week or two, and the first example of it breaking into the wild was a local news guy in Arizona who again got it from the Michigan side of things.
At that point Michigan makes a bonafide offer to Harbaugh. By bonafide I mean it is a you-can-sign-this-now contract Michigan had drawn up Sunday and Monday—I am certain of that information. NFL reporters start banging on his agent to find out what's going on, asking if the Joe Pequeno tweet had the right numbers. Agent says yes, things go to plaid. The "leak" was out there for any NFL reporter to see well before this happened, but if they don't hear it from an agent it can't be true.
Michigan didn't put it out there on purpose, but it was out there already. It is too hard to keep that under wraps when you need to gather the donors to make the big-ass offer happen and ping the regents to make sure your big-ass offer is okay by them. People talk.
Then once it's out there, it's a lot harder to flat-out lie to a guy you have to have a working relationship with when he has a specific number instead of a vague idea. I'm not bothered by the numbers getting out. Once they were on paper it was bound to happen.
ALSO. Emailer notes that this is a very mergers and acquisitions move from Hackett, a "bear hug" offer that is difficult to escape from. As a bonus it uses the window in which only Michigan can act with authority. NFL teams can whisper into his agent's ear about giving him the world; Michigan has put its meat on the table, so to speak. Look at all of it.
ON MICHIGAN'S SUPPOSED CHEAPNESS. Adam Schefter continued to throw cold water on things today during an appearance on ESPN radio, to the point of implying he did not believe the offer is even real. He does not aid his credibility when he says things like this:
The assertion that Michigan is cheap like that is either outdated or just wrong. They're building everything for everybody, and the opulent basketball PDC renovation gives you a good look into what revenue athletes (and the non-revenue ones, actually) are furnished with:
The new practice court area also features four overhead cameras that allow coaches to record practice. In addition, coaches are equipped with a hand-held remote to track various in-practice moments on film, and monitors inside the facility allow for instant teaching moments during practice.
After practice, players are offered a chance to unwind inside the player's lounge, a recreation area featuring lounge chairs, video game systems and an 84-inch television screen that also has the ability to be split into four separate 42-inch monitors.
The lounge is adjacent to the Michigan locker room, a circular high-technology facility featuring individual iPads for each player. Players have the ability to watch game film and go over other team material from their individual iPads, and coaches have the opportunity to cue up film from a large flat screen monitor inside the locker room itself.
This article just keeps going in this vein. Bathroom-conscious Jim Harbaugh will surely be pleased to note this:
Michigan men's coach John Beilein has the largest office in the wing, complete with a personal restroom and shower facility.
It's kind of gross what all the money goes to but Michigan's spending it just as furiously as everyone else.
I'm not quite sure what Schefter means by "support staff," but many of those positions, even the non-coaching ones, are limited in number by NCAA mandate and Michigan fills all the slots. They have four football analysts, an executive assistant to the head coach, an administrative assistant to the head coach for recruiting, four equipment guys, two video guys above and beyond the analysts, a dedicated counselor, etc etc etc. Recruiting budgets are weird—OSU was amongst the smallest spenders in that category in 2012 and 2013—but even so Michigan is on par with the rest of the league save Nebraska, which has no local recruiting base, and Illinois, which is just desperate.
Consider items about Michigan being cheap to be pulled from the buttock area. It is just about the only charge you can't level at Dave Brandon's AD. Brady Hoke averaged four million a year as Michigan's head coach. QED.
ON TIMELINES. I've heard a lot of different possibilities, with most asserting that this will happen only after the 49ers season is done. There is a wild rumor that a bunch of people have been told to clear their schedules this weekend that I can't confirm at all, and Steve Lorenz relates that Michigan's current commits have been told to expect something before Christmas($).
ON JUCO ADMISSIONS. Colin Cowherd apparently said something about how the offer includes the ability to admit JUCOs. This statement has no validity. Even if Michigan said they'd bend a little bit on that, that wouldn't be in writing or anything Cowherd is privy to. And the chances they did offer that to a guy who made Stanford into a power are minimal. For one, that promise is not one the athletic director can give.
I know I know, Austin Panter. Panter was an exception to the JUCO rule: he was a kid who qualified out of high school and still went to JUCO because he was at a school so small they played 8 man football. Michigan also had Russell Shaw back in the late 90s. It is not impossible; it is unlikely and will remain so.
Private jets, meanwhile… whatever. Michigan's got those coming out their ears.
ON TOPPING MICHIGAN'S OFFER. It can be done, of course. It'll be harder to do for the Raiders than other people, because California. Via Rivals user SevenToEightySix:
$8,000,000 in Michigan is going to end up being about $4.546mil after federal and state taxes.
$10,000,000 in California is going to be $4.89mil after federal and state taxes.
I don't think this is going to come down to money. If it does the Raiders will have to go to 12, at least.
I THINK WE JUST MADE IT PRETTY CLEAR. Reasons to stay in the NFL!
THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT AT MICHIGAN REMAINS UNCLEAR
That is not your best argument today.
STAY TUNED FOR GENERIC DENIAL. Standard weekly Harbaugh presser scheduled for 4:40 Eastern. Hopefully it'll be one sentence…
…but more likely it's I AM RELENTLESSLY FOCUSED ON OUR GAME THIS WEEKEND again.
ETC: Eric Adelson on the offer. I've got your unseemly right here in my pants. I had to miss my WTKA spot this week with family things but I was on the Solid Verbal. About the 20 minute mark. Tim Kawakami could take some twitter pointers from Charles Robinson. I'll revisit this in more detail if we in fact get Harbaugh, but here's Nick Baumgardner talking to an old USD player of his.