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Niners wouldn’t stop Harbaugh from going to Texas

Harbaugh Getty Images

Since 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh puts no stock in anything unnamed sources say, here’s an interesting tidbit from an unnamed source.

If Harbaugh wants to leave to become the head coach at the University of Texas, the 49ers wouldn’t stop him.

While Harbaugh privately, we’re told, has told the 49ers he has no interest in the Texas job, Harbaugh dodged questions about the vacancy on Thursday, saying instead that he “absolutely” wants to remain with the 49ers.

But if he doesn’t — if he wants to take the Texas job or any other college job — the 49ers won’t get in the way.  The position comes from both Harbaugh’s contract, which apparently doesn’t prevent him from taking a college job, and certain nuances of California labor law, which at a minimum would entail a protracted legal fight over whether the 49ers can force Harbaugh to remain on the job.

The deeper point is that the 49ers won’t let outside interest in Harbaugh at the NCAA level result in a series of Saban-style extensions, with more and more money going to Harbaugh to keep him from leaving.  The 49ers intend to give Harbaugh a healthy raise as part of an eventual extension, but the motivation won’t be fear of Harbaugh wanting to go to Texas or any other college job.

The 49ers believe Harbaugh wants to stay.  They intend to reward him for his accomplishments over the last three years, and for his anticipated results going forward.  If he decides to leave, however, they’ll move on — like every team routinely does at a variety of on-field and off-field positions, every offseason.

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51 Responses to “Niners wouldn’t stop Harbaugh from going to Texas”
  1. shackdelrio says: Dec 20, 2013 8:01 AM

    Nick Saban. Jim Harbaugh. Jimbo Fisher.

    We hear all these big names from the media. But we know they’ll end with someone like Charlie Strong or Dabo Swinney.

  2. beeygin823 says: Dec 20, 2013 8:03 AM

    Very classy.

    The Niners are a top organization through and through

  3. meurah says: Dec 20, 2013 8:08 AM

    How is this news? This is just common sense. If a coach wants to leave, why would you FORCE them to stay? Of course you wouldn’t get in their way, otherwise you would get half-assed work in return.

  4. lionboy23 says: Dec 20, 2013 8:12 AM

    I always have had this dream idea of Steven Seagal vs Van Damme in a true cage fight. It will never happen now.

    I am still hoping for Schwartz vs Harbaugh before Schwartz gets fired…..

  5. jpb12 says: Dec 20, 2013 8:13 AM

    There are hundreds of college jobs. Only 32 NFL jobs. If he doesn’t want to stay – why would the 49ers want to force him to?

  6. nickmiller63 says: Dec 20, 2013 8:13 AM

    You should thank Tim Kawakami for allowing this story, born without legs, to sprout them and begin to run, on the shallowest of inferences on TK’s part. There’s nothing here.

  7. ctiggs says: Dec 20, 2013 8:15 AM

    You media people crack me up. Why would a guy who has had this much success and went to the super bowl, take a step back and go to Texas. Why would a Michigan man , not take the Michigan job when it was open and it was offered to him a couple years ago!!!!!! I’ll tell you why, because he wanted to coach in the pros. Please quit trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill!!!! #goNINERS

  8. beastmode5150 says: Dec 20, 2013 8:15 AM

    Because he isn’t liked. It’s pretty well known Stanford didn’t mind him leaving.

  9. aikmanschinstrap says: Dec 20, 2013 8:16 AM

    Everyone is replaceable. Just ask RG3.

  10. scoreatwill says: Dec 20, 2013 8:17 AM

    Or in other words, his act has worn stale and the results are not worth the aggravation.

  11. pdmjr says: Dec 20, 2013 8:19 AM

    I think Mike Tomlin will get the job, it fits his persona and he would be a great recruiter. His days in Pittsburgh are getting darker.

  12. nyninerfan says: Dec 20, 2013 8:23 AM

    So he’s publicly said he wants to stay. He’s privately told the team he wants to stay and has no interest in Texas. Your own sources have told you this and yet this is somehow still a story? Way to draw people in with the sensationalistic headline though.

  13. The Pittsburgh Steelers says: Dec 20, 2013 8:26 AM

    Aren’t postseason distractions grand?

  14. jjb0811 says: Dec 20, 2013 8:30 AM

    $7m to work year round or $7m to work 3/4 of a year (Feb-April off). College has its perks.

  15. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Dec 20, 2013 8:31 AM

    More posturing for contract negotiations. “Threatening to leave won’t get you any extra cash.”

  16. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Dec 20, 2013 8:32 AM

    Guessing Jim’s Niners extension is somewhere around 7 years at $8 mill per. Sara Harbaugh isn’t moving to Texas. She’s an equal part of this equation nobody ever talk about

  17. craigkintexas says: Dec 20, 2013 8:37 AM

    No way in hell Harbaugh would be welcome in a high school players home in Texas!

  18. getyourownname says: Dec 20, 2013 8:40 AM

    If the “nuance” is the enforceability of a noncompete provision, that’s not really a nuance – CA law generally does not allow employee noncompetes to be enforced except in very limited circumstances.

    But indentured servitude became illegal a long time ago; no employer can force an employee to remain on the job. Like any employee, he can quit at any time, but then he doesn’t get paid. The question would be whether he can be stopped from working for a new team right away.

  19. ninerfan81 says: Dec 20, 2013 8:43 AM

    I like this stance. I know this guy is the real deal, I think he’ll win a championship really soon, somewhere but the Saban renegotiation garbage is a part of the problem in sports, the threat of a new job increasing a coach’s pay by 50% is not sustainable and its not fair to fans, players, educational funding, tax payers, etc. In the pros, its definitely not sustainable because you’ll have to increase salaries every time there is a prime opening? Not good. The Niners will just have to trust that Baalke can lure a great coach and continue to bring in excellent talent. Life goes on.

  20. chawk12thman says: Dec 20, 2013 8:48 AM

    I don’t see what the desire would be to leave for college? Big man on campus? Just don’t get the reasoning.

  21. mizzousooner says: Dec 20, 2013 9:03 AM

    The 49′ers can’t let Harbaugh treat them like Saban has done to every organization he’s been around and I’d be surprised if he did.

    Pay your coach what the market tells you he’s worth. But this nonsense of constantly redoing the contract of a mercenary like Saban is crazy.

    Be it a college or an NFL team, you need a coach who wants to be with your team, who wants to win for the sake of winning and who isn’t an ego maniac.

  22. goldrush36 says: Dec 20, 2013 9:09 AM

    The horse is beyond dead. We really don’t need 3 new stories a day about it. Report it when he does or doesn’t go

  23. twonis says: Dec 20, 2013 9:15 AM

    I understand the prestige and history surrounding the Texas program but I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that an NFL coach, with a loaded team and every reason to believe it will continue to contend, would want to return to the college game.

    If it is a passion for molding young players, then I understand.

    If it is to get out of a bad situation with a contentious owner/GM, a depleted team with no hope for the next few years, or something along those lines, then I get it.

    But 1 year removed from a Super Bowl appearance, with no sign of slowing down, and for one of the most historic franchises in the NFL? Can Texas really offer THAT much, money or otherwise?

  24. steelerfanjo says: Dec 20, 2013 9:15 AM

    Even the Niners hate the crybaby? Not shocking… from all indications he is very unlikable.

  25. osiris33 says: Dec 20, 2013 9:20 AM

    He can’t be so blind he doesn’t realize how much better the Seahawks are. He’s looking at 2nd place at best for the next 3-5 years at least. If he’s smart he’ll take the Texas job and leave the half-decade of scratching for wild card births to some other sucker like Norv Turner.

  26. rodgohard says: Dec 20, 2013 9:24 AM

    How you know???

  27. mqsnacks78 says: Dec 20, 2013 9:25 AM

    If it’s true I like that the 49ers wouldn’t stop Harbaugh. Nowadays it’s all about coaches trying to drive up the prices when some BS source comes out about taking another job. I’d say go take a hike too, or atleast have the stance of not re-negotiating until his contract is almost up.

  28. explosionsauce says: Dec 20, 2013 9:28 AM

    Surprised there wasn’t any Seahawks promotion in this article, you’ve gone soft old man

  29. raiderlyfe510 says: Dec 20, 2013 9:30 AM

    I’ll say this. If Harbaugh were to leave the 49ers for Texas. Coaches would be lined up ready to take over that deep and talented 49ers roster from all four corners of these United States. Gruden probably wouldn’t even hesitate leaving the booth to coach Kaepernick.

    There’s hundreds of coaches ready and willing to take Harbaugh’s place. This is really a non-issue for the 49ers.

  30. dirtydrew says: Dec 20, 2013 10:19 AM

    He is not leaving the beautiful Bay Area for Austin Texas.sorry folks. The team has a new stadium next season, flush with cash and the team is loaded.

  31. samapoc says: Dec 20, 2013 10:31 AM

    It’s over in SF. They cannot do it without a coach. Look at what happened to the Saints last year.

  32. ratsfoiledagain says: Dec 20, 2013 11:14 AM

    “While Harbaugh privately, we’re told, has told the 49ers he has no interest in the Texas job, Harbaugh dodged questions about the vacancy on Thursday, saying instead that he “absolutely” wants to remain with the 49ers.”

    Instead of dodging the questions, why not just say publicly you’re not interested in the Texas job?

    It would, at the very least, reduce the amount of articles written on this very subject.

  33. number1hawkfan says: Dec 20, 2013 11:15 AM

    As much as Harbaugh is like nails on a chaulk board to us Seahawks fans. We don’t want him to go anywhere. Nothing makes us more happy than seeing him whine on the sidelines at centurylink field while the games out of reach in the third quarter. We’re partying on our sidelines while he’s pouting like a little girl. It’s going to be even better in the playoffs. See you up here in a month Harbaugh. Bring your Kleenex.

  34. 1rockyracoon says: Dec 20, 2013 11:22 AM

    /ctigg

    You seem to know so little of that which you speak of in your comment. Texas is not a step backward. Head football coach at Texas is probably one if the most attractive coaching positions in all of sports. Nobody, including San Fran, can match what the boosters at Texas can offer in terms of money– $8-$10 per year for over 6 years is being mentioned. The boosters and Board are filled with millionaires and billionaires. Also, the Texas football coach, like most big time programs, has complete control. He doesn’t have to answer to or work with a GM or any player personnel people. Finally, on the NFL is just a matter of time before you’re fired. In college it’s possible to choose to stay at the same school for 10 or more years if you’re successful. By the way, I’m not a big fan of college football, but I at least understand the power that is Texas college football.

  35. badmoonrison says: Dec 20, 2013 11:29 AM

    Sorry guys, this is not news. Plus, unnamed sources are a dime a dozen and generally aren’t reliable or even legit at times.

  36. dowhatifeellike says: Dec 20, 2013 11:55 AM

    It just goes to show how messed up college football has become that one of the top coaches in the NFL could be lured away for more money.

  37. killitandeatit says: Dec 20, 2013 12:11 PM

    Texas heat/Texas vs. 49er Bay Area ? I better add another ? There is something going on though because Jim wants more authority. I want Jon Gruden as the next head coach of the 49ers. I hope Jim is up front with his plans and gives the York family some lead time so we can sign Jon before another team secures his services.

  38. Dogsweat says: Dec 20, 2013 12:37 PM

    Dear 49ers,

    Give Coach Harbaugh complete control of the franchise and upper Management and worship him along with Kaep.

    Love,

    NFC West

  39. mutantman87 says: Dec 20, 2013 12:38 PM

    lionboy23 says:Dec 20, 2013 8:12 AM

    I always have had this dream idea of Steven Seagal vs Van Damme in a true cage fight. It will never happen now.

    I am still hoping for Schwartz vs Harbaugh before Schwartz gets fired…..

    ———————————————————

    Me, too. And you know what, it could still happen. The 49ers will probably win out over the Falcons and Cardinals to go 12-4, leaving the loser of Saints-Panthers at 11-5 and in the #6 spot.

    The Lions, by virtue of losing a tiebreaker with the Eagles, would be #4 if they won the division (must win out againt Giants and Vikings). That is still very much in play, because it looks like Flynn is starting against the Steelers and the Bears’ non-existent run defense is facing the Eagles, the best running team in the NFL. At 9-7 for both, the Lions have the tiebreaker because they swept the Bears.

    Keep your fingers crossed for Harbaugh to be a little too jubilant after slaughtering the Lions at Ford Field.

  40. jrbdmb says: Dec 20, 2013 12:57 PM

    Austin is a great town, but I don’t think that Texas is that great a job anymore.

    They certainly own the state of Texas, but outside of the southwest who really gives a rip about the Longhorns? And being stuck in a dying Big XII doesn’t help either, they should have moved to the PAC 12 or SEC when they had the chance.

  41. mkos4513 says: Dec 20, 2013 1:20 PM

    The reason he “dodged” questions is because he earlier stated that he will only talk about the job he currently has. If I was Harbaugh, then I would be tired of the constant questions about the Texas job, too. Maybe that is where the perception of him dodging questions comes from.

  42. thirdistheworrd says: Dec 20, 2013 1:44 PM

    Hard to believe that in this day and age college coaches at big schools still make more than coaches do at the professional level.

    @jrbdmb- I don’t see why they won’t have a chance again? The NCAA system is collapsing on itself. My money is on the entire state of Texas (UT, Baylor, TCU, SMU?) and the lower ACC (Clemson, FSU, Miami?) being absorbed into the SEC sooner rather than later.

  43. pmars64 says: Dec 20, 2013 1:56 PM

    While it’s very likely there’s no legs to these Harbaugh stories, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Niners upper level management would be fine with him leaving. Successful NFL coaches with egos the size of Texas typically try to assume more and more control of their franchise, creating power struggles, and some nasty bad blood. It happens all the time. I’ve wondered in the past if Harbaugh has assumed more power in the Niners franchise and was behind some of their recent draft busts and not Baalke. And look at the number of free agents the Niners have signed recently that were wash-outs. Was Harbaugh or Baalke the driver of those deals? Before Harbaugh, Baalke did a great job assembling a good roster. They only needed a good coach to come in to make it successful because Singletary was a joke as a HC. Since Harbaugh, the Niners personnel moves have been spotty at best. It’s all speculation, but power struggles are part of the business and front office harmony is often short-lived. I wouldn’t be shocked if Baalke wouldn’t lose sleep over Harbaugh leaving at some point.

  44. wlubake says: Dec 20, 2013 2:03 PM

    Clearly the team planted this story to fit in the bit about not giving him Saban-like raises. Might as well have been a letter from the team to Harbaugh’s agent.

  45. ninerswilldominatelikebefore says: Dec 20, 2013 2:41 PM

    most nfl teams WISH harbaugh left the niners or that their team would’ve hired him. Too bad harbaugh will be here A LONG LONG time get used to it because we’re back! and WILLDOMINATELIKEBEFORE!

  46. backdapack4evr says: Dec 20, 2013 2:45 PM

    Everything is bigger in Texas including paychecks!
    Har bawl is a money grubbing buffoon!
    Let him fail big in Texas!!

  47. Ferdinand says: Dec 20, 2013 2:50 PM

    Does that mean they are as sick of his sideline buffoonery as the rest of us?

  48. ctiggs says: Dec 20, 2013 2:53 PM

    Well lets start here I’m a fan of the biggest alumni and probably the biggest fan base in sports (THE Ohio State), so i understand first hand that Texas is one of the 5 or 6 most coveted jobs in COLLEGE Sports. I also understand that in the long run yes you probably would make more in college than in the pros. Now being that Harbuagh played in the NFL and also coached and had success at Stanford, he has no need to go backwards. I’m sure Harbuagh wants to coach the best players in the world, compared too just high school all-stars. FYI it’s a step backwards going from pros to college in any sport.

  49. malibudave66 says: Dec 20, 2013 2:54 PM

    Its very rare to find a coach that has the ablity to due what Pete Carroll has done,saying that Jim is in the perfect spot for him. He is a Pro coach and I think would be real hard for him to replace Coach Mac Brown at Texas. Mac Brown is a perfect college coach and has the temperment for that but Jim has that edge that would be tested at Texas.Saying that i dont think Coach Mac would be good for the 49ners! Jim Stay with 49ners!!

  50. cri33 says: Dec 21, 2013 1:25 PM

    Harbaugh is not going back to college football. He wants to be in the NFL. But I would not discount the idea of some other NFL team making him (or one of his assistants) a nice offer if he does well in the playoffs. So I would be surprise if he said “yeah you have a deal” if a college team offered him even a college team did offer him $7 mil/year to coach college again. On the other hand, money talks and everyone has their price so few things surprise me in sports these days. And as for Carroll, he gambled and won, so far. Its like playing the lotto or gambling. Sometimes it pays off big time and you lose miserably. Only time will tell if his team can not only make it to the SB but actually win it. And not at home either.

  51. bravedown50 says: Dec 25, 2013 4:48 AM

    craigkintexas says:
    Dec 20, 2013 8:37 AM
    No way in hell Harbaugh would be welcome in a high school players home in Texas!

    You Dummy. He recruited Andrew Luck out of Texas to go to Stanford.

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