Jim Harbaugh Advocates Against Big Ten Canceling Football Season

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Amidst reports from Dan Patrick and the Detroit Free Press that the Big Ten has voted 12-2 to cancel football season and is planning a formal announcement for tomorrow, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh released a statement outlining facts of testing from their program as part of advocacy against canceling the football season:

Interestingly, given that Dan Patrick reported that Iowa and Nebraska were the lone dissenting votes against canceling football season, this means Harbaugh’s letter is at odds with Michigan’s administration. To be a fly on the wall for those conversations….

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. Hey Ryan,
    So Michigan is on the hook for another $12MIL guaranteed for Jimbo ($6MIL for 2020 and 2021), but that price would be offset if he found a job elsewhere. So letting him go after 2020 wouldn’t be much of a hit to them at all financially. Interesting times lol.

    • Exactly what I was thinking. Michigan’s administration isn’t going to listen to a coach who can’t beat their biggest rival. They want him gone and hope they can do it without paying out the nose.

  2. Good for Harbaugh. This is what happens when. you let an institution be controlled by a certain ideology. If you look around the country, high schools are playing. The NHL, MLB, MLS, NBA, and NFL, PGA, and NASCAR are all playing, but college sports won’t?

  3. Have to respectfully disagree w/ all of the trolls who are dissing Harbaugh. He should be applauded for wanting to play and making the DATA-BASED arguments that Clay had been making. In terms of revenue and endowment, Michigan isn’t worried about has salary (Harbaugh can be paid $15MM per year and that wouldn’t even be an issue). People can make fun of Harbaugh all they want for not beating OSU, but clearly Harbaugh had stabilized the fan base, significantly increase Michigan’s athletic budget and revenue (look at the numbers), and the campus administrators are clearly very happy about the direction of the program from a financial standpoint (which, honestly, is almost as important as wins and losses). That cannot be said about Rich Rod, Brady Hoke types that just won’t generate revenue at all as Harbaugh has become a brand (that sells, but can’t win the big games).

  4. The PAC-12 and B1N don’t have a coronavirus problem, they have a labor problem…which is no shock considering that they play in the most heavily liberal parts of the country. They can’t get their ball players in line without caving to some of these silly demands…so it makes more sense to them to punt to the spring. What’s interesting is that the news came out of the B1N first, when the PAC-12 looks to be where the greater amount of organized resistance lies. Apparently kids in the SEC and ACC recognize that college football is a vehicle to get an education, build your brand and hopefully get paid real money in the NFL.

  5. I don’t believe we’re dealing with logical thinking in these decisions. Quoting facts, statistics, even medical studies and opinions obviously hold no sway over those making decisions. They aren’t deciding with facts.

    The facts are the health risk is very low for these kids and coaches Even if they do get Covid, So the decision cannot be made based on that information. So what information is driving these decisions?

    An article on Fox business references Rutgers and Michigan potentially losing more than $50 million in revenue this year alone if the season is cancelled. That is financial suicide, so finances cannot be driving these decisions.

    The health data doesn’t support cancellation, hardball quotes his own experience, the data we do have shows virtually no mortality risk for this age group, and the financial data says you play or you will fold. So, again, what IS the basis for decisions being made?

    At best, universities are worried about liability from a student or family suing them if someone contracts Covid. However, that does not seem like the basis to make such drastic decisions if the result of avoiding lawsuits is to no longer have an athletic department existing to sue.

    Possibly the universities feel pressure to virtue signal to the media so they will leave them alone and not accuse them of believing crazy right wing conspiracy theories, being unscientific or putting the public in danger. Intellectual shaming is a powerful influence to many. But Again, this does not make much sense, if the outcome of bending the knee to the left will be no longer having an athletic department to shame.

    At worst, these universities are complicit in an organized escalation of economic turmoil in attempt to sway the presidential election. What you can conclude is that all options are either weak or despicable.

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