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Our esteemed colleague, John Taylor, over at has weighed in on the slightly confusing situation regarding Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, the brother of Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh.
For a coach whose agent has repeatedly said he’s on the verge of striking a six-year contract extension to remain at Stanford, Harbaugh has reportedly been spending a lot of time talking to NFL teams.  Harbaugh is a candidate for jobs with the New York Jets, St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions, according to NFP as of January 5.
Harbaugh’s agent Jack Bechta, a fellow NFP columnist like Lombardi, responded by attempting some damage control the next day where he referred to his client as a “hot commodity” while emphasizing that Harbaugh is nearly set to make a major commitment by re-signing with Stanford.
Just four days later, though, the news came out that Harbaugh had actually met with the Jets.
So, San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy wants some answers for the Stanford fans about what’s going on. According to the article, Harbaugh declined several requests to clarify the situation.
Here’s an excerpt from Purdy’s column:
It’s no sin to be an ambitious coach.  And if Harbaugh is using the NFL feelers as leverage to get more money from Bowlsby, that’s also not against the law.  But a man should at least be up front about the situation, unless Harbaugh wants to be considered just another borderline greasy coach who talks out of both sides of his mouth.
Just for the record, though, Stanford’s Athletic Director, Bob Bowlsby, told the Mercury News that no NFL team had put in a formal request to speak with Harbaugh.
It’s also worth noting that Stanford recruit Tyler Gaffney recently visited Palo Alto and told that Harbaugh didn’t shy away from shooting down the persistent NFL rumors.
“He told us he had no interest and the NFL isn’t for him,” Gaffney said.  “He did interview, but it was a while ago. . . .  He said he just wanted to see what it was like. But he’s going to be signing his extension at Stanford in the next week and wants to stay for the long haul.”

Permalink 8 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Rumor Mill, St. Louis Rams
  1. tv says: Jan 13, 2009 9:08 AM

    Seems to be that the guy has a right to investigate future possibilities. I doubt, at this point, that such an approach is being disrespectful to Stanford.

  2. Mbehavin2 says: Jan 13, 2009 9:22 AM

    If Jim Harbaugh is talking to the Jets, Rams and Lions about becoming their HC then he is not smart enough to be the HC at Stanford.

  3. Crushing Touchdown Run says: Jan 13, 2009 9:50 AM

    Great. Another contributer that can only express amazement with the single-line “Wow.”
    Guys, it loses what (very little) effect it once had when you use it every post.

  4. Marjax says: Jan 13, 2009 10:13 AM

    So, San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy expects Harbaugh to make it well known to all who want to read it that his flirting with the NFL is just a means of leverage to get more money from the university?
    … wouldn’t admitting that kind of ruin that leverage?

  5. Stoogie says: Jan 13, 2009 10:21 AM

    “Just for the record, though, Stanford’s Athletic Director, Bob Bowlsby, told the Mercury News that no NFL team had put in a formal request to speak with Harbaugh.”
    Since when does an NFL have to submit a formal request to speak with a college coach?

  6. egypt123 says: Jan 13, 2009 11:28 AM

    I know the NFL is considered by some to be the pinnacle of coaching, but anyone who would leave a good paying college gig at a top-notch university (yes, I’d consider Stanford in sunny California to be a sweet gig) is a complete moron, IMO. Especially if said someone was considering leaving to go coach a pathetic organization like the Lions. I don’t blame Nick Sabin for going back to the college game and the cushy college atmosphere (let alone all the young campus poon he could get).

  7. Jackson1 says: Jan 13, 2009 12:58 PM

    I would just like to post “WOW” so I can be as cool as EVERY columnist on this site.

  8. bobbyjohn44 says: Jan 13, 2009 5:01 PM

    I’m sorry, but the way the world works is that if a college coach can get a job as an NFL head coach, he should take it. If he wants to consider it the college has to be patient, and that’s just way it is.

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