If Harbaugh turns down the offer is he still loved by the fan base? Is his choice savior or villain?

Submitted by double blue on December 18th, 2014 at 11:26 AM

So, we all know we think he would be a savior or at least the most loved alum at the time if he takes the job.  What if he turns it down? Would he become the most hated alum?  After all, it's not like he's turning down a middling offer. It makes him the highest paid coach in all of football. Even if the offer he would accept from the NFL is higher, i have to believe this offer aided tremendously in getting him to that stratosphere. I think most people would have thought he was a $6-7 million guy to the NFL without this type of offer from Michigan.

 

Comments

alum96

December 18th, 2014 at 12:03 PM ^

Yep.  There are a # of factors and people are being very diplomatic at this moment since he is not a yes or no and most think yes is very possible.  If it is a no a lot of people are not going to like Jim Harbaugh in the short term.

Adding or reducing that feeling down the road will be

  • How long he strings this along i.e. if its a no next week or no Dec 30th its different than a no on Jan 10th.
  • Who the next coach is, if its Miles it will still be seen as a premium coach.  If its Adazzio, resentment will be high for JH.
  • What that next coach does the next few years.  Even if its an Adazzio or clone and he does well, then JH resentment will fall off over time.  But if its Brady Hoke 2.0 type of reign, while Urban goes bonkers for another half decade people are really going to be irate with JH with UM handing him the moon and him saying no.

That said it's moot baby!

charblue.

December 18th, 2014 at 12:11 PM ^

but I will not like it. And it will just be another loss in the Michigan ledger in a lengthy losing streak going on since 2006. He will come to symbolize a program in deep throes of turmoil without someone replacing him viewed as the next best option.

His legacy at Michigan will remain intact but his reputation as a university supporter will suffer and people will not want to ask him ever again about coaching in Ann Arbor, unless the desperate carousel somehow managed to turn his way a third time.

Let's remember Les Miles has always said he would coach at Michigan and agreed to do so, even though his hire would be regarded as less an achievement than Harbaugh's.

The anger will be palpable for awhile. But depending on what happened with the next coach, Harbaugh will have issues with Michigan Nation for awhile, and citing Bo rhetoric in coachspeak for him going forward would then sound pretty hollow and shameless as well.

MonkeyMan

December 18th, 2014 at 12:35 PM ^

Harbaugh will be loved (and worshipped to some extent) here no matter what he does. Hackett will be blamed for not offering enough, etc. People need and decide on heroes and villians and many will always make Jim a hero whether he is or not. It has gotten to the irrational point now. 

Lordfoul

December 18th, 2014 at 12:47 PM ^

I would treat him as I would wish to be treated.  I am my own person and choose as carefully as I may on how or why I do things.  Jim has treated this situation with class, and with the proper respect for his current employer and players - who are any of us to make his decision for him and his family?  I hope he comes, but respect him either way and wish him success wherever he goes.  Reading this thread certainly wouldn't make him want to take on this fanbase.

GoBlue

December 18th, 2014 at 11:49 AM ^

I'm not sure how universally loved he has been by the fanbase, at least after the M academics-bashing while he was at Stanford.

I don't know if he'd fall into "hated" category, but there is bound to be some collective frustration/hurt feeling/sour grapes if he spurns such an aggressive offer.

EDIT: While I don't expect it, if he turns the offer down and there is an appearance that he is/was stringing Michigan along just to gain leverage for his next NFL contract, then I'd expect he'd move him more toward the "hated" category.

M Squared

December 18th, 2014 at 12:02 PM ^

No one can legitimately answer this question without observing how this actually plays out.  If the facts suggest in the end that he stringed us along and used our offer (not saying that will be the case), then that will affect perception of JH.  The final chapter is yet to be written on this story.  

NRK

December 18th, 2014 at 12:26 PM ^

Fair point.

In my opinion, if Harbaugh elects to stay in the NFL, the national NFL-media narrative will be that he never considered UM and use the offer as leverage for a bigger contract.

I don't know if we'll ever know if that's right or wrong, but based on the current state of reporting I believe that's what we'll hear.

somewittyname

December 18th, 2014 at 12:26 PM ^

Plus he's an arrogant prick who whines about every call. Do people think Buckeyes were fans of Urban Meyer before they got him? Of course not. We want Harbaugh because he is a great coach. It does help that he played for Michigan, and there are some good traits that come along with his bad ones, namely, he seems to stick to a clear personal code, but I think these reasons for why we want him are secondary to his success. If he doesn't come, he'll still be an arrogant prick.

Everyone Murders

December 18th, 2014 at 11:30 AM ^

Who am I to fault him if his dream is to stay in the NFL and chase a Super Bowl?  Or if he determines it's in his family's best interest to stay in SFO?

So I'm not turning on the guy if he turns us down.  It's his prerogative (cue up the Bobby Brown).

AMazinBlue

December 18th, 2014 at 11:30 AM ^

to be the Michigan coach and should have said so a long time ago.  He won't be the villian, but I don't ever want to hear his name associated with the Michigan job ever again.  I wish people would just be honest and not string people again.  It's like the hot girl that goes out with you because you take to her to nice restaurants and entertaining things, but never really has a lot of 'real' interest in you. (at least that's how I remember it - I'm 50 and married now.  Dating back in the day sucked).

gwkrlghl

December 18th, 2014 at 12:10 PM ^

"If he turns us down now, then he never wanted to be the Michigan coach..."

What would lead you to draw that zany conclusion? Surely he's thinking about whether he wants to go to Michigan or stay in the NFL. If he concludes NFL, you can't say "he never wanted to be the Michigan coach". All he did is conclude he wanted to be in the NFL more.

BlueKoj

December 18th, 2014 at 12:19 PM ^

Precisely. If JH = NFL, jumping to the conclusion that it had to be all for leverage, he never could have seriously considered UM, and he should have told UM a long time ago is logic used by spurned HS girls from the 50s.

How "long ago" should he have rejected UM? UM made the offer this week, and there are zero NFL offers on the table. 

mgoaggie

December 18th, 2014 at 12:16 PM ^

I have to disagree. I'm actually very happy with the hot girls that I got to go out with that didn't have real interest in me. Meant I didn't have to have real interest in them, and whatever happened after our nice dates was totally platonic. Senior year in college, man. But I get where you're coming from, so upvote for you.

stephenrjking

December 18th, 2014 at 11:38 AM ^

As long he doesn't say he's "Taking his talents to South Beach" or make some similarly brutal publicity move, a decision should be reluctantly accepted. A guy who has dreamed of winning a Super Bowl for decades, and has come oh-so-close, shouldn't be faulted for keeping up the chase.

But I hope it doesn't come to that.

ShruteBeetFarms

December 18th, 2014 at 12:09 PM ^

Mullen's talent inferior Miss State team beat the talent rich LSU team. He's done a nice job at Miss State and coached under Meyer.  I like Les Miles, but he is old and has a fantastic recruiting base to pick from. Assuming Harbaugh is off the table, having a young coach that can actually coach should be a good thing.

mgobluth

December 18th, 2014 at 11:32 AM ^

If he takes the offer, amazing for us. If he doesn't, since we seem to be giving all we've got, I won't turn on him, I just won't really pay attention to him. Especially since he could be coaching the Raiders and my particular NFL team plays in the NFC East. Now if he were to take the Jets job...

Yostal

December 18th, 2014 at 11:34 AM ^

Every person has to do what is best for them, whatever the collective wishes, wants, and desires of other people are.  I think we can and might be disappointed in the decision, for selfish reasons, but ultimately, you can't make someone do something they don't want to do just because it would make you happy.

FreddieMercuryHayes

December 18th, 2014 at 11:37 AM ^

Is he turns this down it will severely damage his rep in the UM community. I mean, he's got to do what he feels is best for himself and his family.  But UM means so much to so many people that many would not be able to understand why he woudn't give back to the university that shaped you into who you are, while simultaneously being paid more than anyone else in his profession and given the chance to accomplish everything you want professional besides that one type of championship ring (the Super Bowl).

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mGrowOld

December 18th, 2014 at 11:35 AM ^

Anybody who'd vilify him for not taking the job is an idiot IMO.  The guy has legitimate reasons for wanting to stay in the NFL and the bay area in particular if that's the direction he decides to pursue:

1. Has an underage daughter from marrage #1 who lives out there.  I know as a father who went through a divorce it would be VERY hard for me to move across the country and know I wouldnt see my kid very often for quite a while.  All the money in the world cant buy time.

2. He has a wife that allegedly wants to stay in the area.  If you're truly in love with someone her opinion DOES factor into your decision guys.  It may not be the deciding variable but it does matter.

3. His own brother beat him in the Super Bowl.  That has to sting a little bit and I'm sure he'd like to win his own (sibling rivilaries can be pretty powerful motivators)

4. Like it or not the NFL is consider the pantheon of football coaching.  Taking a job in college - even for all the right reasons - would be considered a demotion and an indication that he couldn't cut it with the big boys (like his brother).

Look - I WANT him as bad as anybody here to coach us next year but if he says no I understand why.  And he's still a brother in arms either way.

saveferris

December 18th, 2014 at 2:14 PM ^

1. Has an underage daughter from marrage #1 who lives out there. I know as a father who went through a divorce it would be VERY hard for me to move across the country and know I wouldnt see my kid very often for quite a while. All the money in the world cant buy time.

While true, football coaches at the highest levels of the sport probably don't spend a tremendous amount of their spare time with their children on a day-to-day basis. I'm guessing quality time comes in chunks during off peak times in their schedules.

2. He has a wife that allegedly wants to stay in the area. If you're truly in love with someone her opinion DOES factor into your decision guys. It may not be the deciding variable but it does matter.

While your wife's opinion DOES matter, anyone married to a football coach who doesn't recognize that it's a profession with a high degree of volatility and risk of relocation is not paying attention. Rare is the head coach who settles into a single position in a single location for a career. Most coaches don't get to have Don Shula's career.

3. His own brother beat him in the Super Bowl. That has to sting a little bit and I'm sure he'd like to win his own (sibling rivilaries can be pretty powerful motivators)

Probably, but do we really think that Harbaugh would allow sibling rivalry to play a major role in informing his career choices? I get the desire to win a Super Bowl ring, but I buy the argument of him wanting one because his older brother has one less.

4. Like it or not the NFL is consider the pantheon of football coaching. Taking a job in college - even for all the right reasons - would be considered a demotion and an indication that he couldn't cut it with the big boys (like his brother).

Disagree. I don't really think anyone regards Nick Saban as less of a coach because he left the NFL for Alabama. NFL media pundits probably would spin this as a demotion, but it's nonsense. If Jim Harbaugh takes the Michigan job and leads it back to prominence and even some championships (yes, please), nobody is going to be pushing the narrative, "Yeah, he's a great college coach, but he never won in the pros". I think every sports guy recognizes that some guys are better college coaches than pro coaches and vice versa and rare if the guy who succeeds at both.

I'm with you though, if Jim passes to stay in the pros, no hard feelings, although I think passing on the Michigan job to take the Raiders job seems like a mistake to me. The only way I would bear Jim any ill will is if it came out that he strung Michigan along simply to secure himself the better payday in the pros. Aside from that, I hope he decides to come home.

WichitanWolverine

December 18th, 2014 at 3:10 PM ^

I'll be pretty bitter if he doesn't take the job, and I won't wish him well. Maybe I love Michigan more than I should, but if I felt I had the opportunity to "save" Michigan's program I wouldn't hesitate to do it. Helping out my alma mater would be on another level of importance than winning a Super Bowl. And if the ludicrous offer he's getting isn't enough to sway him, then I don't ever want to hear his name brought up again down the road.

erald01

December 18th, 2014 at 11:35 AM ^

Well JH not long ago said his main 3 priorities are: Win, Players well being, personal life...

So that being said if he doesnt come I really think it will never happen again. As an NFL coach you can win a super bowl but no one remembers yor name, if he comes here and turns this program around and wins constantly then he will always be the savior and he can be the new Bo