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#pounditFriday, June 14, 2024

Report: Jim Harbaugh blamed 2 figures for his Michigan exit

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh looking on

Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the 2022 Fiesta Bowl against the TCU Horned Frogs at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A new book suggests Jim Harbaugh angrily ranted about two specific figures just before his exit from Michigan.

CBS Sports on Wednesday published an excerpt from The Price: What It Takes to Win in College Football’s Era of Chaos by Armen Keteyian and John Talty. The book contains a number of stories about top college football figures, including Harbaugh and what went into his decision to leave Michigan for the NFL after winning the national championship.

Harbaugh went on a two-day getaway following the win and spent part of it venting to longtime friend Todd Anson. Harbaugh reportedly suggested that he wanted to stay at Michigan, but felt he did not have a strong enough advocate in athletic director Warde Manuel. Harbaugh also claimed Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti had stood him up for a scheduled meeting in which Petitti had promised to brief him on the Big Ten’s process regarding the investigation into the program’s alleged sign-stealing.

Harbaugh was concerned that he would be punished for the sign-stealing affair regardless of his involvement, or lack thereof. His frustration with Manuel is not necessarily a surprise, as previous reports had indicated there was tension between the two.

As we now know, Harbaugh took the Chargers job days later. Perhaps he had always leaned that way, but the sign-stealing investigation certainly may have pushed him further. After all, there were reports at the time that suggested Harbaugh was quite concerned about potential fallout.


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