Last week the University of Michigan announced a self-imposed three-game suspension of head coach Jim Harbaugh to start the season.
While Harbaugh said at the time that his mindset is “don’t get bitter, get better”, on Monday he acknowledged the suspension hurts.
“I’ve heard people comment it’s a slap on the wrist — it’s more like a baseball bat to the kneecaps or to the shoulder,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh said he’s in “unchartered waters” and that during his playing days in the NFL, he didn’t recall missing more than three consecutive games, and this is even after enduring shoulder separations, broken ribs, concussions, broken fingers and more.
“I’ve never missed three games unless it was for a broken arm or dislocated shoulder,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh said people have called his wife and asked what he’ll be doing for the “three-week vacation”, and said she has the same reaction as him — there’s no vacation. Harbaugh’s been coaching the team every single day, he just won’t be able to be around the team or on the premises on game day. He’s still the man in charge every other day of the week and at every practice.
Harbaugh hasn’t been able to comment on the NCAA investigation which led Michigan to self-impose a suspension on Harbaugh. And it isn’t clear if Michigan making this move will make the situation with the NCAA any better. All Harbaugh has said on the matter is he has “nothing to be ashamed of.” What’s clear is the NCAA actually violated its own rules when making a comment about the investigation — to read that article Click Here.
For someone like Harbaugh who said ever since he was a kid he knew he wanted to “play as long as I could, then coach, and then die”, this suspension doesn’t just sting, it’s acute and intense pain — a baseball bat to the kneecap. Harbaugh always was able to get back up as a player after a devastating and dirty hit, and he’ll be looking to do the same when he can start coaching on the sidelines again in a few weeks.