Jim Harbaugh pull plug on press conference over player suspension questions


Former 49ers coach and current Michigan coach and inevitable future NFL coach again Jim Harbaugh is great at what he does because he’s a great competitor. The only problem is that everything with Harbaugh is a competition. Including press conferences.

For Harbaugh, a press conference often isn’t about answering questions or being cooperative. It’s about getting a victory, however he characterizes it. On Monday, the victory entailed not talking about a pair of players who had been suspended by the Michigan football team.

TheBigLead.com has the video. It began when Harbaugh was asked about three players missing from the team photo. Harbaugh said that two of them had been suspended.

Obvious follow-up: Which two?

Response: “We’ll handle that internally.”

Obvious follow-up: How long are the suspensions?

“That’s why I don’t give you any information, ’cause you’re never satisfied,” Harbaugh said. “You want a second question, a third question, a fourth question. I just said we’d handle it internally. Thank you.”

And then he left.

The questions were hardly out of line or asinine. Failure to display the basic curiosity that leads from: (1) where were the three players?; to (2) which two were suspended?; to (3) how long are they suspended? would be evidence of incompetence on the part of the reporters.

Besides, Harbaugh could have declined to answer the questions without getting upset and storming off. Whether he was trying to intimidate the reporters or whether he was blowing off steam or whether he just reacted in the moment without a specific reason, it was odd. And it was compelling. And it makes me look forward to the day when Harbaugh returns to the NFL as a head coach.

24 responses to “Jim Harbaugh pull plug on press conference over player suspension questions

  1. This guy was a great coach…..the 49ers made a huge mistake by letting him go….. He has both passion and talent…..skills sorely lacking on a large number of NFL teams today. Imagine if you gave him the Bills roster? If you have him the Bengals they would at least win in the 1st round of the postseason. If you gave him the Rams they would compete…..but instead guys like Jeff Fisher still have jobs and Rams fNs wallow in mediocrity…..

  2. @nhpats

    Or he could work for new england where player suspensions are plenty along with serial killers, lyin cheatin ball boys , players running around naked in police parking lots etc etc. imagine himmat one of those press conferences. ” coach can you explain why your TE is nicknamed machine gun hernandez”

  3. Whenever I see the word ‘Harbaugh’ I get a knot in my stomach and think about why I had to go through two years of Deflategate…

    And then I realize…

    It’s because a different Harbaugh got angry with someone at another podium..

    Go Pats!!!

  4. ” And it was compelling.”

    Uh no. Not in the slightest. Unless you’re a member of the media and you view it as clickbait.

  5. Sounds like Jimmy had his khaki panties in a bunch.

    I’m sorry the man has to deal with other humans.

    Go live on Mars.

  6. Harbaugh is the best football coach on earth. Michigan football is awesome again. Harbaugh will train the reporters to ask football related questions, and steer clear of the tabloid stuff. Anyone interested in tabloid stuff, when football season is about to begin, shouldn’t be reporting anyway. Harbaugh is doing us all a big favor. Thanks Jim. We love ya. (and I’m a Buckeye fan)

  7. I think Harbaugh is a little bat#%it crazy myself. But so what, he’s a winner. You want to win, hire him. You want a guy to smile and shine on the media, hire Jeff Fisher.

  8. Poor Jim. Pesky reporters should know better than to ask questions. And follow-up questions. Egad!!!
    How did we get to the point in American society where we decided to put our mental head cases in charge of everything?

  9. “Former 49ers coach and current Michigan coach and inevitable future NFL coach again Jim Harbaugh is…”

    …probably never coming back to the NFL.

    It was well reported (even here, IIRC) that he didn’t like the behavioral problems of some NFL players, and felt it was something that couldn’t be fixed. Consider this:

    Can he suspend a few millionaires, keep them out of team pictures, and then refuse to answer who the millionaires are, why those millionaires were suspended, and for how long? Good golly, no.

    Anybody remember how quickly he took the Michigan job, instead of fielding other potential open coaching opportunities after Black Monday?

    He’s power mad, everybody knows that. He’s in his happy place now.

  10. NCAA or NFL, doesn’t matter. More often than not any article featuring good ol’ Jimmy Harbaugh is worth reading. The man is a certified nutcase but nevertheless he can coach the hell out of a football team

  11. I generally agree with PFT’s writing, but I’m with coach on this one.

    Those follow ups are only “obvious” if you’ve been trained and wired to poke and prod. To a reporter, these are simple unobtrusive questions.

    To the rest of us, however, especially a man responsible for raising another group men, the questions are irrelevant and damaging. He wants to take care of his, raise men, and build a team. Let him do it and focus your attention in the final product, not every rabbit hole during the build.

  12. Nutjob’s never held a coaching job longer than 4 years. The question is: Will Stephen Ross be done with Adam Gase by 2018ish?

  13. Haraugh will burn out his welcome in Ann Arbor just like he burned out his welcome in SF and in my neighborhood in Indy. Guy’s an ass and will always be an ass.

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