Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Jim Harbaugh is a Michigan Man!

Jim Harbaugh continues to be called to task for his comments regarding the academics of the Michigan Football program. This time it was Mike Hart who chastised Stanford Coach Harbaugh for his comments. On day two of the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago, Ill., Hart said, "That’s a guy I have no respect for. When you graduate from the University of Michigan and you’re going to talk about your school like that, a great institution like that we have, to say we’re not true student athletes. It’s coming from a guy who, I don’t know, maybe wants to coach here, and is mad he didn’t get a job here. A guy like that I have no respect for. It’s funny to me, because we don’t let great student-athletes in, but he just accepted one of our transfers. What kind of sense does that make? He obviously wants guys like us at his school and he’s mad he can’t get them. It’s nothing against Stanford. I just have no respect for that guy. I don’t know how you can say that. He’s not a Michigan man. I obviously wish he never played here before." (emphasis added)

Mike Hart is definitely the mouth that roars. However, as spirited as he is and as much as the current Wolverines feed off his enthusiasm, Hart is not the definitive authority on who qualifies as a "Michigan Man." Jim Harbaugh was a true blue Wolverine long before Hart was even born. Harbaugh's connection to the Michigan Football program goes all the way back to when Harbaugh was a kid and he served as a ball boy during the Coach Schembechler-era. Harbaugh, of course, went on to become an All-American quarterback for Coach Schembechler and the Wolverines. Famously, Harbaugh guaranteed a Michigan victory over Ohio State during his senior season. He then went out and delivered. The Michigan faithful lauded Harbaugh for his bravura and he became a legend of the program. Now, Harbaugh is getting skewered by the same fans who once hailed him for the same qualities they once praised him for exhibiting. Harbaugh's brashness and willingness to speak his mind was what made him a Michigan fan favorite. It is those same qualities that now make him enemy #1. Harbaugh is Harbaugh. He is no less of a Michigan Man because of his recent comments. He was raised on the Maize and Blue and he grew up under the tutelage of Coach Bo Schembechler. Jim Harbaugh always has been and always will be a Michigan Man. Go Blue!

*Note: Photo of Rick Leach (7) and ball boy Jim Harbaugh celebrating a touchdown during the 1977 Northwestern game from the website Guts 'n Glue
*Note 2: Other posts from around the Michigan Blogoshphere on this topic: MGoBlog, Michigan Against the World,, Autumn Thunder, and Michigan Sports Center.

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At 5:20 AM, Anonymous MVictors said...

I with you on this one. I've got an issue with Hart's comments. JH is a Michigan man - call him wrong, call out his comments, even call him a jerk, whatever - but don't say he's not a Michigan man.

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree with the previous comment. Harbaugh's public comments have diminished the esteem of the university that provided him a top notch education and ultimately a NFL career.

If a Michigan man has issues with the way the U of M operates, he needs to voice an opinion, but it should be voiced out of the public eye.

Being a Michigan man means being a true friend to the other student athletes that attended your university. Publicly bashing it's academics ultimately reduces the value of a degree earned with an athletic scholarship, this outburst has cost the true Michigan men money and respect.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Jim Harbaugh Scramble said...

love this post.

as a huge harbaugh fan i agree.

until mike hart beats osu harbaugh is number one in my book.

i saw him play live and in color and the man was a gamer, he has my upmost respect

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Papa Steve said...

Wait a minute. Harbaugh says that Bo taught him to speak his mind. Isn't that what Hart is doing? Hypocrite. Remind me again of exactly how Harbaugh is an expert on what degrees better prepare one for life after college? Is that all the years he has worked in business? Right. He doesn't actually knonw anything about the degree, which is designed for people to be able to get access to a varied distribution of classes without requiring all of the MORE 300/400 level courses = harder program with a mix of science & liberal arts. Not easier, except that you can forego the language requirement.

If you need any further evidence of what a hypocrite Jimmy is, read the analysis of the majors for Stanford's football players here

Jimmy doesn't even have a grip on what is going on in his own back yard and he decides to lash out at his alma mater? Does he think that UM is the only program in the country that might make allowances for players that have conflicts between sports and academics? Please, I grew up in East Lansing and tons of my friends went there and those guys never went to a single class and somehow manage to get by, whereas the athletes I knew at UM were held accountable and were in class.

If Jim is suddnely soooo concerned about the education of athletes and their prospects after college, why doesn't he address the sysem as a whole instead of attacking the very school that is responsible for every bit of success he ever had?

On an anecdotal note, my sister was at Michigan while Harbaugh was there and I shortly after and it was widely known that he was an asshole. Older guys in my fraternity told me he would regularly show up at parties with high school girls, young high school girls (not even seniors) and would get them really drunk. He also had a HUGE mouth and attitude at the time and they actually asked him to leave a couple of times for saying mean things to girls at the party. That says a lot to me, when a bunch of fraternity guys ask a star athlete from their school to leave, you know he was acting like a prick.

He still has a big mouth. His comments regarding Pete Carrol are every bit as self-serving, uninformed, moronic and embarassing as his comments re: UM athletes as students.

Do you realize the damage he has done to recruiting? To the reputation of the school and the nnow deceased coach that he professes to admire?

I hope to hell he never coaches a day at UM as head coach or anything else. If he is ever under consideration for anything, I will be contacting the AD's office as an alumnae, booster and diehard fan to indicate my support will stop as loong as he is there.

Whatever it means to be a 'Michigan Man', it definitely does not mean to spout off in public about things you really have no knowledge of, nor interest in just to get yourself in the press.

Here's hoping Jimmy fails miserably at Stanford and ends up coaching some backwater juco for the rest of his life and fades into the obscuririty he deserves.

At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Katherine said...

JHS- I didn't realize that there were 22+ other guys on the field that beat OSU, but I know that having a better record vs. a rival isn't what makes you a "Michigan Man." I know the definition of that is obscure, but I can say assuredly that this guage is an incorrect one. By that logic, Bo Schembechler never won a national championship, so he must not be a Michigan Man.

There's a saying that goes, "He's a jerk, but he's our jerk." Mike Hart is that guy. He says brash things, however he says them at the expense of those who rival his school and football team. Not always the smartest thing for a player and many may disagree, but like I said, he's our jerk and has that type of homeristic pride that only someone who absolutely bleeds Maize and Blue would have. I, for one, love him for it.

Jimmy was our jerk when he played here, there's no denying that. However, times have changed. Sure he's still saying controversial things like he always has...but this time, instead of saying things at the expense of those he's are supposed to oppose or rival (other teams, OSU, those knocking UM, et al), he's saying it publically at the expense of Michigan and it's reputation. That's a difference in subject that should be noted. If he went to OSU and guaranteed an OSU victory and won, we would absolutely hate the guy and think he's a total, cocky a-hole! This is no why the need to defend it just because he helped UM, along with 21+ other guys, beat OSU. That's not enough to be considered a Michigan man. Yea, he was a Michigan ballboy, but he was also a Stanford ballboy and probably wherever else his father coached. That doesn't mean everything.

At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harbaugh's comments bring up a lot of questions: 1) why did he point fingers at Michigan when the problem is system-wide? 2) What do these comments accomplish?

In my opinion, his comments were self-serving.

Hart may have spoken out of turn, but he has just as much right to speak out as Harbaugh did.

I'll stop be rooting him on this season...
Go No. 20!!
Hart Shirt

Go Blue!

At 3:51 AM, Blogger P 2 said...

he told the truth and hart is a moron.
what are the chances of a black student graduating from UofM after four years playing varsity.
less than fifty percent.
that's a crime and coming from a supposedly liberal communist university its laughable.
can you say "soft racism of lowered expectations"?!!
Michigan football is what it because it represents the best of our midwestern NON GREED RULED EAST COAST OR ACC values.
Harbaugh reminded the current regime about that and was set upon by a sold out bond's era hack.
we're supposed to be different but we look like sold out pretenders worshipping the golden calf.
now they ahve their effing suites so they can watch nfl jr.
Any student that plays for UofM is supposed to represent the student body and the goals of the college which is to create graduates that serve the Great State of Michigan. Not illiterate greed driven dressed up clowns that would be playing for any team that pays or can bribe them over to their squad.
Michigan should be leading the way in the big ten for actually helping players win in the classroom and forcing the other teams in the conf to do likewise, but its all about hype and stupidity driving the dumb jock mentality down our throats.
its ruining the Michigan legacy and cheapening our heritage and most of the Michigan fans couldnt give a rats ass about.
It a parody of the true spirit that built this school and this state and it has to stop.
is he pissed he didnt get picked to coach?
is he taking cheap shots because he's a traitor to the west coast?
those are all ad homs.
how about answering his question and doing something about it instead of attacking the messenger.
keep selling out/ dumbing down and we'll just be another fsu or nebraska diploma mill supplying felons to the nfl. paper merit,night college football, tune up games against teams that have no right even driving by the bighouse all for the mighty sheckle,
some people don't deserve UofM.
Hart is a stooge and he's knows it, that's why he's so loud about it.
I'd take a hundred harbaughs over is ignorant mouth.

At 4:59 PM, Blogger Papa Steve said...

P 2,

What you are referring to a society-wide problem and endenmic to all of college football, not just Michigan.

For some facts, read this

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Rybu said...

I disagree. Becoming a Michigan Man doesn't grant you a lifetime membership. Nobody wants to take away what Harbaugh did on the field and they ARE great memories. What he is doing is taken what has been given to him in large part by becoming a Michigan Man and used it for himself AGAINST the University.

Drunk Driving, the self serving comments he made...

Lloyd is right....Mike is right.


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