Jim Harbaugh makes case for Michigan football proceeding

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Amid reports that the Big Ten will pull the plug on the 2020 college football season, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has spoken out in favor of playing.

“I would like to address the rumors that are swirling today,” Harbaugh said. “I’m not advocating for football this fall because of my passion or our players’ desire to play but because of the facts accumulated over the last eight weeks since our players returned to campus on June 13.”

Harbaugh then recites various facts, from the number of positive tests for the Michigan players (11 out of 893 tests, zero in the past 353), no positive tests for any coaches or staff, and no contact tracing to Michigan’s football facilities.

“This isn’t easy,” Harbaugh said. “This is hard. It is proven that the conduct, discipline and structure within our program have led to these stellar results. We respect the challenge that the virus has presented however we will not cower from it.” He concludes the statement by quoting Theodore Roosevelt, explaining that he advocates for fall football “so that our place will not be among the cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Even if everything he’s saying is entirely accurate, other programs haven’t had the same success that Michigan has enjoyed. And Michigan players eventually will be on the field with those players.

That’s the overriding problem with college football. There hasn’t been a uniform, centralized approach. If there had been — if every school had done what Michigan did — the dominant topic on August 10 wouldn’t be whether college football season will implode.

44 responses to “Jim Harbaugh makes case for Michigan football proceeding

  1. Then WHY are “protest” permits approved by cities? Wouldn’t “protestors” put themselves and others at risk by “protesting”?
    I agree with Harbaugh.
    Players can sign a waiver and play.

  2. Players can sign a waiver and play.

    Sure, because no big time college football powerhouse would ever pressure someone to do something against their will…….

    There was a recent article in a medical journal laying out the potential long term heart damage the virus can do.

  3. Jim’s calling card is making provocative statements at press conferences. He does less well winning big games.

  4. Harbaugh makes a good argument and I applaud the discipline they’ve shown. It’s sickening that there wasn’t any meaningful National leadership from the beginning of covid. Bottom line no matter how good Michigan’s plan has been there are too many things they can’t control and too many things the experts don’t know about the long term effects to take chances with people’s lives. Would hope that possibly trying to play in the spring makes more sense.

  5. I love Jim Harbaugh. He’s a true throwback man, before we all got so soft and entitled. Not trying to comment on his possibly irresponsible take on the virus here, I just respect his grit is all.

  6. Psycho Jim doesn’t care if players get sick, as long as he can try to somehow show up his big brother John.

  7. As a Michigan Man, I am happy to hear about the good results Michigan Football has acheived to date. Rather than crow about it, spread your best practices about the rest of the Big 10 and college sports. I’d love to hear about teams and Universities improving their infection rates after you do that.

    I agree that Discipline is the #1 factor in reducing the spread of this disease.

  8. For crying out loud Jim, let it go.

    I am gutted the Big10 won’t be going ahead, and in fact, Michigan are my team, Go Blue, but clearly it’s not safe, give over.

  9. He is getting paid to do nothing aka the Edsall plan, he won’t lose to OSU and he was probably getting canned after this season anyway so he gets another year. He can quote anyone he wants. Actuaries, lawyers, and insurance companies made the decision not the coaches or players.

  10. The US is the only major economic power that couldn’t get the virus under control by the start of football season, in spite of starting before many countries. But thankfully we still have our freedoms! I mean, how dare someone have to wear a face mask, stand 6 feet apart, and wash their hands. Imagine being in a communist country where that was mandated… like Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and most of the developed world.

    Football is being canceled because people didn’t want to do small things.

  11. It’s entirely reasonable to schedule a 10 game conference only schedule in the spring. You can do this because there is a chance a viable vaccine will be available. We might have a better understand of the virus itself. Maybe a few good treatment options are developed. And the usual flu season will be over at that point. Who knows, maybe we get to the point that fans can be at the games, which would be great for everyone.

  12. Coach doesn’t realize that he and his team exist currently within a bubble.

    It sounds like they’ve done a great job so far. But, he doesn’t realize that football teams travel, or is choosing to ignore it. The team and staff with be on busses and planes going all over the country. They will be travel through virus hot spots, staying a hotels and playing against teams that lack the discipline and resources to keep everyone infection free.

    The number infected will explode, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

  13. Harbaugh should be happy. He will be able to say his team did not lose to Ohio State this year.

  14. I wanted to make the joke about how he won’t lose to Ohio State but some of y’all beat me to it.

  15. He’s better at speeches than winning important games.

    How many big games can you lose before you get fired?

  16. Anyone else see the parallels between our federal government and the NCAA with regards on how to proceed?

  17. It’s ridiculous. Michigan can get it done. Why can’t the other schools? Everything Harbaugh says is correct, and it’s the same for the entire country. We can beat the virus if we’re smart. We’ve just been playing dumb.

  18. “I heard the B1G is willing to compromise and allow one game: Michigan at Ohio State.”

    Great idea. Only one band member: the tuba guy who dots the i in Ohio. He could stand at midfield and just shred that thing.

  19. The coaches are going to do everything they can to ensure they get paid. Honestly it sucks but everyone is in the same boat, nobody wants to lose a day/month/year.

  20. Scott Frost of Nebraska has already gone on record to state that they will play outside of the Big Ten, and I suspect other schools from the Power 5 conferences will do the same if their presidents take the foolish step of cancelling the season.

  21. He should be thanking everyone for this. This will be the first year he doesn’t have to suffer a humiliating defeat from my Buckeyes, their superior in every way other than losing.

  22. No treatment
    no cure
    no vaccine

    163,505 American deaths as of this morning. More than Vietnam, Middle East and Korea combined in just 140 days.

    ‘Merica

  23. It’s funny folks are saying listen to the kids when this is the same demo that went on spring break and were super spreaders. That’s the same demo we should listen to? Because the data has showed this is the group that doesn’t care whether they contract the virus or not and are spreading the virus. It’s crazy

  24. I remember my long-ago college days. We were willing to take any kind of chance, many of them potentially deadly and most of them foolish.

    If these players are willing to sign some kind of waiver (no doubt with “Dr.” Harbaugh standing over their shoulder, whispering, “Remember what can happen if you don’t sign this”), it’s proof that college kids haven’t changed a bit since my day.

  25. Maybe someday M will return to greatness with a top coach who can recruit real football players, not three and two stars while OSU has all 4 and 5 stars

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