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#pounditThursday, August 18, 2022

Jim Harbaugh runs in contrast with Ryan Day over NIL deals

Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh is adamant that Michigan will not pay recruits to come play for the school, and he even seemed to question why one of his rivals is involved in those sorts of discussions.

Harbaugh joined the “Jed Hughes Podcast” for an episode published on Sunday. He spoke about how Michigan will handle name, image and likeness deals, emphasizing that the Wolverines have no intention of paying “signing bonuses” to students who pick their school. He also added that he does not see it as his role to involve himself in how players profit off themselves, drawing an apparent contrast with Ohio State coach Ryan Day.

“When you just look at this, the way that rules are and the very good thing that we were talking about earlier, with name, image and likeness, the players should be able to profit from their name, image and likeness,” Harbaugh said, as transcribed by Clayton Sayfie of The Wolverine. “What does the coach have anything to do with that, other than make the player the best player he can possibly make?

“Some are making it sound like the coach is making a salary cap or something, the one that is writing the checks. That’s not what it’s designed for. This is designed for players to profit off their name, image and likeness. Period.”

Harbaugh’s comments are subtle, but certainly look like a reference to Day. The Ohio State coach recently put a price tag on what he thinks the school will need to prevent players from moving elsewhere. Harbaugh is questioning why that would be a coach’s concern.

Harbaugh’s stance is admirable, but Day’s may be more in line with reality. NIL rules state that deals cannot be offered in exchange for signing with specific schools, and Harbaugh is making clear that Michigan will stick to that rule.

However, it’s not difficult to envision scenarios where players are enticed to join certain schools due to the opportunities on offer, albeit without explicitly breaking that rule. One coach has already suggested that is going on behind the scenes. That is what Day was alluding to, and what he sees it as his job to prevent as Ohio State’s coach.

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