Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Harbaugh Brew-ha-ha

First of all, most of what Harbaugh said is true. Michigan does admit football players that wouldn't get into the school if they weren't athletes. Michigan does steer those that are less academically gifted (like Harbaugh) into certain majors so that they can concentrate their academic support resources.

In other news, the sky is blue, the sea is wet, and Charlie Weis is fat. What Michigan does is no different than what every division one university, including Stanford, does. Anyone who believes that all of their favorite team's players are academic superstars is fooling themselves.

The real question, in my mind, is does the university make a good faith effort to educate their athletes, or do they do only enough to keep them eligible so that they can play. Do the athletes respect their fellow students who are not athletes enough to take their own education seriously?
Admittedly I'm bias, but I think the answer to both of those questions for Michigan is yes.

So is Harbaugh out of the family? Not for me. I understand the anger of Jamie Morris and Mike Hart. Harbaugh didn't have to single out Michigan. He could have made the same point and used Cal, USC, or some other regular opponent of Stanford as an example. I think that Harbaugh is still upset about not getting the UofM QB coach job a few years back. Scuttlebutt around town at the time was that Harbaugh had asked Bo about the job, and Bo had asked Lloyd to interview him. Harbaugh did get the interview, but Lloyd chose to go with Scott Loeffler, who was a grad assistant at the time and has been outstanding so far (ask Tom Brady). I also think that it is no accident that these comments came out after Bo passed away. I think on some level Harbaugh is still trying to cope with the same sense of loss all Michigan fans and former players feel. For that reason, I would have no problem if he was a candidate for the head job if and when Lloyd decides to retire.