Jim Harbaugh - Michigan Man?

Submitted by rbgoblue on October 17th, 2011 at 7:37 AM

[edit: This post has NOTHING to do with Jim Schwartz.  I don't give a damn about both coaches dickish behavior after yesterday's game.  I think it was comical to say the least.  What I don't understand is our fanbase's defense of Harbaugh.  He has sold our university out time and time again.  It's time to get over our "ex."]


There has already been too much discourse on this board for one individual, but what I find shocking is the people running to the defense of a "Michigan Man."  It is pretty clear that Harbaugh has long since traded in his alma mater for his own personal benefit, evidenced no clearer than by his words and actions

1. In 2007, Harbaugh criticized UM's academic integrity regarding their athletes.  He insinuated that Michigan has pushed athletes into taking easier classes, and that they wouldn't have the potential to earn respectable jobs after graduating.  His comments were contrasting a Stanford education to Michigan's, and were described by Mike Hart as "self serving."

2.  In 2010/2011, as Michigan was attempting to recover from the Rodriguez tenure, it was clear that Harbaugh, despite his previously burned bridges, was the leading candidate for what he had previously described as his "dream job," the head coach of Michigan.  After winning the Orange Bowl with Stanford, he spurned his alma mater and parlayed his coaching credentials to a gig in the NFL, leaving the university to scramble to find another qualified candidate.  When Michigan came calling, at their most desperate hour, Harbaugh said "thanks, but no thanks."

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Harbaugh has long since worn out his welcome at UM, and has overused his label as a "Michigan Man" to merit our support.  There is no reason to defend this clown, because his behavior would suggest that he doesn't give a damn about UM anyway.  We have moved on and so has he.



October 17th, 2011 at 7:42 AM ^

Get over yourself. His job, particularly as a head coach in the NFL, is one thing: to win. He did.He crows a bit too much? Who cares - Schwartz is no stranger to the behavior.


October 17th, 2011 at 8:27 AM ^

What is at issue is your need to to keepma compendium of any grievance that an alum has committed so that you can revoke this mythological status with which you imbued him. Maybe if you spent less time shuddering in absurd moralizations, you wouldn't get as offended. He was somewhat ungracious as a winner, and may have (gasp!) said a bad word. Oh my!

As far as what he said about the education Michigan gets many of it's athletes - you didn't like it, but was he wrong? And don't give me "Omameh is an engineer" - there are obviously exceptions. A BGS means the school can push em through 40 hours of nonsense classes. Maybe spend more time. Do you honestly think most of these players take the same class load as the average student?


October 17th, 2011 at 8:58 AM ^

Did you merely insinuate he was hypocritical? No - you also insinuated he was WRONG. Brian's article establishes that Stanford, like Michigan, has a bullshit made-up football degree - like Michigan.

That makes him hypocritical, not incorrect.

This is asinine, because I really don't care for Harbaugh. What rankles me is these people (like you?) who sit around waiting around to take umbrage so you can check another person whose actions you feel somehow betray this mystical MICHIGAN MAN brotherhood you seem to take an inordinate amount of pride in praising yourself for. If you want to continue to be the arbiter of membership to your special club - do what makes you happy, I suppose.


October 17th, 2011 at 1:22 PM ^

Come on chitown, what are you trying to do here? You're blasting rbgoblue completely unfairly for complaining about the dust-up with Schwartz and misrepresenting his take on Harbaugh's comments at Stanford. I think he made his point quite obvious:

It is pretty clear that Harbaugh has long since traded in his alma mater for his own personal benefit, evidenced no clearer than by his words and actions

When many fans are excusing his behavior in the NFL and NCAA because of his ties to Michigan, it's completely reasonable to question his actions with respect to the university. This has nothing to do with playing gatekeeper to the Michigan man club.

For the record, I can't blame Harbaugh for taking the 49ers job if that's what he really wanted to do. I do think, on the other hand, Harbaugh was not only hypocritical and self-serving, but also wrong, cowardly, and (disagree if you want) ungrateful when he made his infamous comments.

The Baughz

October 17th, 2011 at 9:52 AM ^

My question for you guys is this: If Harbaugh would have gotten in a fight with another coach, and not one from the Lions, are we having all these discussions about Harbaugh today?
<br>I think Harbaugh is a great coach, and I love his intensity, but he crosses the line too much. I, for one, am glad he is not UM's head coach.


October 17th, 2011 at 8:58 AM ^

Jim Harbaugh graduated in 1987, and had a 14-year career in the NFL, and came pretty close to getting one of his teams to the Super Bowl. His active playing days were in Chicago, Indy, Baltimore, and San Diego. The number of interviews he participated in during that time is probably in the hundreds, and you know that early in his career he was asked about playing for Michigan and Bo Schembechler many, many times. He then coached at various levels for six more years until he took the Stanford job in 2007. Again, he participated in scores of interviews, especially in his time as HC at the University of San Diego.

If he was so aggrieved about the alleged refusal of Bo and his staff to let him major in history, and about the steering of Michigan football players into dumb courses (a blanket assertion), why did he not breathe a word of his resentment and anger A SINGLE TIME in any interview until he became coach at Stanford in 2007 (which, as he stated in an interview after he took the Stanford j, was his dream place to play college football—not Michigan). If Harbaugh had uttered a single sentence of such criticism while he was a prominent player in the NFL, it would have been big news immediately.

One reason: Bo Schembechler died in late 2006. Jim Harbaugh waited to throw his former coach—and the program that made him what he was—under the bus until after Bo could no longer defend himself, or his program, against his allegations.


October 17th, 2011 at 9:21 AM ^

Then do favor us with your thoughts on why Harbaugh waited until 2007—a full two decades after he graduated—to express his criticisms of the college program he played in.

And for the record, I think a great deal of the typical "Michigan Man" blather is meaningless, mindless word salad, and was especially the case during RR's tenure.




October 17th, 2011 at 7:45 AM ^

The worst he's done is criticized our academics, and taken a more prestigous head coaching job.  I think you're overreacting here.  I mean, there was probably truth to what he said about our academics anyway.  I'd imagine it's true at most major college football programs.


October 17th, 2011 at 7:53 AM ^

He criticized our academics because his feelings were hurt. We've all overreacted to hurt feelings. He took the 49ers job because he could double his income, continue living in the Bay Area while not worrying about ditching his two kids from his first marriage and so he could coach at the highest level. Given his personal situation, it's hard to find fault in his decision to take the 49ers job. It's a bigger issue for me if he would've gone to Carolina or some place else on the other side of the country.


October 17th, 2011 at 8:00 AM ^

I completely understand where you are coming from. I have said in the past I would not want JH to coach anything at Michigan. But, we all see how his teams win and take no bull. I guess we all want a winner.


October 17th, 2011 at 8:04 AM ^

This post is rediculous...And so is this Michigan man thing. Who cares...he is alumni and was and is a very succesful former player and coach.

But the real question is Who are you to deem whether someone is or isn't this legendary Michigan man? Did you suite up for our team? Our you even alumni? Forget this stupid argument, especially from people who think they are worth a damn


October 17th, 2011 at 8:18 AM ^

I think you meant "ridiculous," and yes, my UM education taught me that.  Being a successful former player and coach doesn't give you the right to denigrate your alma mater and use them as leverage for your own personal advantage.  That is the main argument I am trying to make here.  Let's get over Harbaugh.  He doesn't give a damn about UM, so why should UM continue to give lots of damns about him?


October 17th, 2011 at 8:22 AM ^

Point one is a problem-- point two not really. It was obvious his dream job was coaching an NFL team. I wouldn't expect anyone to give up on that. 

I would be curious, though, to see how many Stanford starters have majors in areas like engineering or pre-med.  The funny thing is (and I mean no disrespect to history majors), that I wouldn't consider history an especially difficult major.  I do think it would be nearly impossible to for a student athlete to excell both in football and in the classroom at a good university in certain majors. And I'm certain nobody forced him into a different major.  He certainly seems to have a chip on his shoulder regarding Michigan for some reason. Either that, or he was in a recruiting battle with Michigan for an athlete or two he really wanted.  He seems to be willing to say anything to try to get an edge.  He claimed he had inside information that Pete Carroll was leaving USC. 


Carroll did eventually leave, of course, but not when Harbaugh said he was. I can't think of any other reason to make up something like that except to get a recruiting edge over USC. 


October 17th, 2011 at 8:52 AM ^

Harbaugh is the most unprofessional coach I've ever seen. I'm ecstatic he's not coaching the Wolverines. My favorite NFL team of the week is whoever he plays against. To be hated is to be good but his general demeanor strikes me as classless.


October 17th, 2011 at 9:37 AM ^

Superlatives always invite challenges, so let me try to find a coach who might be more unprofessional than Jim Harbaugh.

This is tough . . . 

How about Mark Dantonio, allowing his players to commit six personal fould, including some obviously egregious attacks.  Meanwhile, Dantonio argues the penalty calls and refuses to discipline his players.

But you're right, a coach being excited about a win is the most outrageous thing I've ever seen.


October 17th, 2011 at 9:08 AM ^

football is starting to rot from the inside, with fans increasingly delighting in outside-the-boundaries boorishness and violence. People who say "man up" tend to be fat slobs on couches, worrying about the dissapearance of their own d*cks.

Coaches have a responsibility to protect their players, and when Harbaugh was doing that, however aggressively, I had no issue with it. People who shout "man up" at Michigan will prevent Hoke from doing his job, and to remain mute as MSU cheats next time. And yes, twisting a player's neck is cheating, and effects how we play the game. If M and MSU go in knowing the refs and league will enforce the rules, it will affect the game.

Middle aged guys who keep shouting man up at college kids are losers.   


October 17th, 2011 at 9:33 AM ^

But was Harbaugh ever a consideration for replacing Carr?  I understood that Bill Martin essentially forced Carr to stay on two years longer than he wanted. If the latter is true, that means Martin must have spurned Harbaugh, if Michigan truly was his dream job.


October 17th, 2011 at 9:41 AM ^

I find it funny that some feel the need to revoke someone "Michigan Man" status. I remember seeing the same thing posted about Morgan Trent when he spoke out against Rich Rod, and probably was right. Like Trent Harbaugh exposed Michigan which did guide players to get gen Ed degrees.

First Harbaugh played at Michigan and gave his blood for UM. I would say none of us know what it is like to touch the banner, yet he does. He has actualy Michigan Man experiences. Lets face it no one calls a UM grad a "Michigan Man", they call a former Michigan football player that.

This is funny that someone would try and take away something that doesn't exist in the first place.


October 17th, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^

Great discussion. I can't help but agree with the posts that this would barely have rippled this board if it wasn't after beating the Lions. They have the most loyal fans in the NFL.

Cigarro Cubano

October 17th, 2011 at 10:21 AM ^

Is a Michigan Man.  FACTS:

- He sported & played with the UM uniform.

- He will not be the first ex-player to critical of the school he once played for. Regardless of what he is being critical of. 

- The vast majority of the UM fans wanted JH as their next coach.  Dream Job or no Dream Job.  His family currently living in the Palo Alto, CA area would had to transition to Ann Arbor. That & the fact that his brother is the HC of the Ravens made his decision easier to bolt to the NFl.   For $5,000,000 yer year.   It's hard to turn that down.


Life comes with choices, so JH decided for the Nfl.  It's his decision to make, no one elses.


So yes, based on the above, JH is a fcvkng Michigan Man. 


What's next a criticism write up of Les Miles for not leaving Lsu for UM ?


October 17th, 2011 at 10:46 AM ^

The Michigan Man metaphor keeps coming after us like a brains-starved zombie.

Harbaugh is a giant douchebag, but a very successful douchebag.

And he's a Michigan Man because he graduated from UM.

My fantasy is that he is a doomed character on the Walking Dead Series Season III: The San Francisco Eat.


NOLA Wolverine

October 17th, 2011 at 10:56 AM ^

I'll just go ahead and repost this. He called the victory at Ohio State, among many other things for us. I don't care what this "Michigan Man" is that we've dreamed up, Jim Harbaugh is a major player in Michigan football's history.

Football is an intense game. He's an intense and excitable coach. What is so wrong with having fun and pissing people off? MGoBoard is just turning into one giant lawn with a rotation of 10-15 people yelling for change to get off of it. He's a winner, and he's going to be around for a long time. And guess what, he's a product of Michigan. 


October 17th, 2011 at 11:12 AM ^

He's an idiot. If it's not clear to everyone at this point, then there's no hope for you. I couldn't care less about the Lions and what he did was uncalled for. The guy is classless.



October 17th, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^

As a Noun:  Yes

As an adjective: No

He is absolutely a Michigan Man, as he played his heart out here and loved Bo like a father.  Unfortunately his coaching antics and sophomoric behavior do not uphold the qualities we consider to be noble and Michigan Man worthy.

Unfortunately, like in every family, you always have that creepy uncle or dead-beat brother in-law you you just have to accept as is.

So yes, due to his past glory and efforts here at UM he is a Michigan Man.  However, his behavior as of late has not been Michigan Man worthy.  In sum, he is a Michigan Man who is not behaving up to Michigan Man standards.

Just as Braylon Edwards behavior is often disgraceful, or Chirs Perry had troubles during his early years under Carr, we must accept all of our UM family and hope to guide them towards better Michigan Man behavior.  I wish Bo was still alive to kick the shit out of Harbaugh like he used to.

As a fanbase we can not lambast other schools like MSU and OSU for their thuggish players and on and off field indescretions and say...look, that's your school, no class.  And then when one of ours misbehaves we just say...oh well, he is not behaving like a "Michigan Man," and try to disown him. That would be way too easy a way out. 

We strive for all our players and student body as a whole to lead good lives and uphold the Michigan Man values, but of course this is impossible.  All we can do is hope they grow up and reach their full potential as human beings.


October 17th, 2011 at 11:56 AM ^

Is there a glitch?

He got a better offer from the 49ers and didn't have to move his familly across the country while still persuing one of his dreams.


His comments were stupid, get over it.  It's not like he's the first Michigan player to say or do something dumb.


January 28th, 2013 at 11:15 PM ^

I thought he had a pretty good career at Michigan, football and baseball. Now take someone like John Wrangler, a guy with all the talent in the world but never did anything but cause trouble, now that's a flameout.