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Jim Harbaugh reveals stance on playing football with no fans

Michigan’s head coach spoke on ESPN’s Get Up yesterday.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

In these troubling times comes some controversial decisions that will have to be made if sports are going to come back amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. One that has been commonly discussed throughout is the return of sports without fans in attendance, and as we move forward with UFC and NASCAR being reinstated under that thought process, it could leak deeper into the year into college football season.

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh said on ESPN’s Get Up Wednesday morning he is prepared for just that.

“We are going through a lot of scenarios and learning more all of the time,” said Harbaugh. “People (practicing) staying safe and can you get an entire team together; coaches, players, training staff, etc. that cannot have symptoms, not test positive, and then play football? Can you have a game where both teams are tested? And if you don’t test positive, can you still play the game?”

These are the types of questions everyone needs to know in order for sports to return. But it cannot be done until someone gives it a chance and does this experiment. We are seeing it in some perspective with NASCAR and UFC, but not quite at the same level as over a hundred people taking the field together.

However, the Michigan head coach does see a future of football, but not quite what we are used to.

“You can definitely test both teams, and you can test officials, but can you test 100,000 people in a stadium? Probably not. Without a vaccine, you probably couldn’t do that.”

Harbaugh made it very clear he would be perfectly okay with no fans being in attendance this upcoming season.

“Heck yeah I would be comfortable coaching a game without any fans,” Harbaugh said. “If the choice were play in front of no fans or not play, I would play in front of no fans. I think darn near every guy I talk to on our team; that’s the way they feel about it.”

Harbaugh named a top 15 head coach by CBS Sports

Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports detailed his top 25 head coaches in college football, and Harbaugh makes the cut ahead of several other top Big Ten coaches. The Michigan head coach comes in as the No. 12 coach in the country, ahead of Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald (No. 21), Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst (No. 17), Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck (No. 15), and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz (No. 14).

Here is what Fornelli had to say about Harbaugh:

“I’ve said plenty of times that, fairly or not, the world at large tends to spend more time focusing on what Harbaugh hasn’t done at Michigan than what he has done. I don’t think he’s gotten enough credit for turning the program around, which isn’t to say there’s not plenty of work left. All that said, I was still surprised to see him climb in the rankings after a 9-4 season and failing to beat Ohio State again. I also can’t help but wonder what happens if he does beat Ohio State. He might jump into the top 10. 2019 rank: 15 (+3)”

Only two Big Ten coaches rank higher than Harbaugh: Ohio State’s Ryan Day (No. 10) and Penn State’s James Franklin (No. 9). Nick Saban from Alabama comes in as the top coach in the country and Dabo Sweeney comes in just behind him in second place.

Juwan Howard offers top 20 2021 recruit

Howard continues to push hard on the recruiting trail in the class of 2021, offering the No. 18 player in the country in small forward Peyton Watson.

According to Jake Weingarten, Michigan had conducted “several calls” with him before the offer. 247Sports’ composite rankings list Watson as a five-star, the No. 7 small forward in the class and the No. 1 recruit out of California. Howard has now offered nine five-star recruits in the 2021 class.

National Brews:

  • Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said on Wednesday the university is trying to have 20,000-22,000 fans in The Shoe while maintaining social distancing guidelines and procedures.
  • The Athletic reports Taysom Hill will be “the guy” when Drew Brees retires.
  • Disney World is reportedly the leading candidate to host a reinstalled NBA season.