Two words: Jed York.
A little confused by the notion that Harbaugh has "worn out his welcome" everywhere he has been for the past ten years, as seems to be the popular narrative. Are there any examples of Harbaugh actually being no longer appreciated/welcome anywhere but with the 49ers? It seems to me like he climbed the ladder like any successful coach up until the end of his time with the 49ers.
Also let's continue to wait until November to blow the whistle on Urban Meyer's Tinder account.
I have the feeling that either San Diego or Stanford would have sucked it up and consented to another year. Harbaugh led both to one-loss seasons in his final campaigns with those teams, whereupon he moved on to bigger jobs.
The first we heard of Harbaugh "wearing out his welcome" was a narrative being pushed to the Play-Doh NFL media for a year by Jed York and his assorted executives. Whether that is in any way more true for Harbaugh than it is for, say, Bill Belichick is unknowable. Successful football coaches are often completely nuts. It is almost a job requirement. They are inevitably going to leave offended people in their wake. Harbaugh's done that; he's also had a public bromance with Frank Gore.
Other players have taken to social media to defend him.
We don't know exactly where Harbaugh falls on the high functioning lunatic scale, but we do know what happened in the aftermath of his departure from the 49ers: they hired a barely articulate defensive line coach with no experience as a coordinator, chased off their highly successful defensive coaching staff, and lost a ton of players. Alex Boone is publicly moaning that he was being pushed too hard—an excellent sign for when Jim Tomsula, who has all the authority of a mewling kitten.
Harbaugh, meanwhile, is still being pursued by the Raiders. He grabbed DJ Durkin from heavy competition, retained Greg Mattison as a position coach, yoinked Tim Drevno from USC, hired an in-demand John Baxter, and hired a deposed NFL coordinator as a wide receivers coach.
Hhe does not care about what people think of him. Jed York is removing mentions of Harbaugh from the 49ers museum; Harbaugh barely remembers the name of the short guy with a spoon in his mouth on the West Coast. That's why he shows up on Real Sports for a piece that few other football coaches would consent to: he does not care about what happened to him in the past even a little.
That differentiates him from a deeply insecure 49ers management, and is the main reason the idea is out there. Without it there is no possible way to justify the 49ers sabotaging one of the most successful coaches in the NFL.
Hyman to fly free
Panthers have been notified that prospect Zach Hyman won't be signing w/them. Possible he gets traded before hitting UFA on Aug. 16.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) April 21, 2015
What's that about you think?
Hyman had an outstanding senior year and should get a rookie max contract once he hits the open market. Florida likely offered him that, but Florida cannot offer him his pick of interested teams. Hyman can now find the team most likely to play him in the NHL next year and establish himself in the league.
This is a longstanding flaw in the CBA that I complained about way back in the day when it was instituted. It took a good long while to hit home, but when it did it really hit. Winnipeg was pushing and pushing to sign Andrew Copp this offseason largely because they didn't want to end up in the situation the Panthers did with Hyman. Any college senior can walk away from the team that drafted him; therefore NHL teams hate to see their draftees become seniors.
[After the JUMP: basketball recruiting, Wigan apology.]
A bunch of basketball recruiting questions.
1. Why sign Austin Davis now?
I’m not questioning whether he’ll be the next Jordan Morgan, but why sign him to your last available scholarship right now? You have one spot left, you have needs at other positions, you have offers out to other players, and this guy is a lifetime fan who will likely accept at any time. It would seem that Beilein could have strung him a long for a while before locking in that last spot.
For one, he's not really the last available spot. Michigan is still recruiting guys right now, so they have one to give. After next season there is likely to be some sort of attrition. I have a dollar that says Zak Irvin has a Hardaway-ish junior year and goes to the draft, and at some point there is going to be a guy who gets pushed out of the rotation entirely and will probably want to play some basketball elsewhere.
That's three-ish to play with, and given how late basketball recruiting is going these days Michigan will have time to determine how many they in fact have.
As far as getting Davis now, I do agree that it's pretty odd to take two centers in a class when you've got two more on the roster. It is possible Michigan is now looking at Donnal and Wilson more as fours long term—in which case someone at that spot is likely to transfer in search of playing time.
2. Three stars who become prospects are nice…..but are they enough?
The go-to comparison, especially for obscure big men, is Jordan Morgan when demonstrating John Beilein’s ability to turn no-names into solid college players. He has taken us to new heights with under-the-radar players. But let’s not forget that the magical championship run was with five star Mitch McGary as one of the key players while Morgan was on the bench. Can you sustain success with no true stars?
Let us neither forget that after McGary went out for the year in 2013-14, Michigan won the Big Ten by three clear games and was tied at the end of regulation with Kentucky before whichever Harrison it was hit a prayer three. And that this roster has three top fifty recruits… and a who-dat who just turned down a possible slot in the first round of the draft.
I mean, it depends on what you mean by "enough." Is it enough to win a national title? Maybe not. Is it enough for Beilein to be Michigan's most successful basketball coach in a very long time? Evidently.
Our model can't be the Duke or Kentucky model. It can be Wisconsin's.
I always appreciated the way Izzo and Ryan built their programs on the backs of experienced and talented college players without relying on top recruits…..but even they sprinkled in some top players. Is that going to be the case at Michigan?
I mean… Walton, Irvin, and Chatman were all top 50 recruits. That bests this Wisconsin team by two (just Dekker) and this MSU team by two (just Dawson).
The current roster is a bit short on big time talent because too much of it headed to the NBA way before anyone expected that would be possible and Michigan got unlucky that the kids they had been recruiting since eighth grade (Booker, Kennard) blew up into guys Duke and Kentucky were interested in.
I mean, have we forgotten that Beilein and his staff are the guys who IDed Burke, GRIII, Stauskas, LeVert, etc etc etc.?
3. Where are the rewards from the Final Four?
Michigan has been one of the most entertaining second-tier programs (behind the blue bloods) over the last few years with an efficient offense, new facilities, on-court success, and a bunch of NBA draft picks. Yet the benefits on the recruiting trail from that success have been……inconclusive. Beilein pretty much had Irvin and Walton locked up before that run. Chatman was a solid 4-star who rose up the rankings after signing with Michigan but was never in the category of “instant impact”. After that there has been a collection of low-ranked prospects we hope can be molded into solid players – Dawkins, Rahk, Teske, Davis, Donnal, Doyle, Wilson, etc. Some of those moved up the rankings, but none are expected to be instant play makers.
Meanwhile, MSU just signed two 5-star players to their 2015 class despite comparable recent success and significantly fewer NBA draft picks.
Retconning Chatman after his disappointing freshman year overlooks the fact that Michigan had a head to head win over Arizona there. Meanwhile the roster looks like it does in part because Michigan didn't think they were going to have to add as many guys as they did—they have been too successful at developing their players—and it takes some time to develop yourself into a recruiting powerhouse.
It's about what happens on the court, and there Michigan has been just about peerless at taking what they have and making it better. As a fanbase we seem to be fretting that Beilein has made Michigan into a top 20 program instead of a top 5 one. I mean…
I am terribly sorry, Wiganites.
WIGAN THE DESTROYER AND WIGAN THE HELPFULLY POINTING THE CORRECT WAY TO RUN
With regards to the comment under the photograph of Wigan’s soccer team [in yesterday's post]: I think that the caption “The FA Cup: the only time anyone has ever believed in Wigan” is, shall we say, somewhat wide of the mark!
Wigan have a legendary Rugby League team, much as it galls me to type that: I’m a St. Helens boy*, and thus naturally disinclined to say anything positive about that bunch of troglodytic inbreds from across “The Lump”.
I’m a Wolverine as Ann Arbor was the first place I lived in the USA; I ventured over from Europe as a researcher in the UMich med school, and the sport that you endearingly call “football” was the closest thing I could find to rugby league over here. Somewhat predictably, given the local environment I promptly became a Michigan football fan.
* Wigan & St. Helens are separated by about 10 miles in the north of England, and have a long-standing and somewhat vituperative rivalry.
I have been corrected with authority.