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Key quotes from Jim Harbaugh’s pre-ECU press conference

Harbaugh spoke about NIL, his suspension and more during his media availability today.

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Michigan v TCU Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh opened the first game week of the 2023 season on Monday afternoon, speaking to the media ahead of the season opener against East Carolina University.

With the recent three-game suspension and college football conference reshuffling, Harbaugh had much to say to the media inside Schembechler Hall.

Here are the top quotes from Monday afternoon:

  • Harbaugh started by advocating for, “A system of revenue sharing with the student-athletes.” He went on to say, “As a former player and career coach, mentoring many of these student-athletes, what I want to do is be a voice for the student-athletes. I want them to be treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.” — Harbaugh said the NCAA, television networks, conferences, universities and coaches are collectively making billions in revenue from the efforts of college student-athletes, but are not providing enough opportunities to share it with the athletes.
  • Harbaugh continued: “I’m calling for a system that is fair equitable, and benefits all involved. Don’t exclude the student-athletes from the profits. In my opinion, you can’t say you’re about diversity, equity, and inclusion. If you aren’t willing to include the student-athletes in revenue sharing, it’s just a short-sighted view of history to presume the system of revenue sharing would topple the current structure.” — It is worth noting, however, Harbaugh admitted to not speaking about these views with his players and didn’t want to comment on his conversations with Michigan athletics director Warde Manuel.
  • On Harbaugh’s confidence in his assistant coaches to step up during his absence: “All 10 coaches, I believe, are tremendous and talented. And I think it’s what’s best for our team. (This is going to be) a tremendous opportunity for each one of them to have the experience of managing the game.”
  • Harbaugh on the reason behind each coach getting one game: “A coach is the head coach. I know their preparation is going to be the fullest at the max and that’s going to be the best thing for a football team. When you’re the head coach during a game and you’re the guardian to victory, that is a tremendous responsibility. And you understand completely that it’s not just defense. It’s not just offense. It’s not just special teams. It’s the whole team and they’re gonna be great at it. And I think it’s the best thing for me.”
  • Jim Harbaugh on his father, Jack Harbaugh’s, influence on him: “He’s one of the coaches in the building that I go to get, ‘What do you think about this? Oh, here’s what we did is what we did.’ (He) saves me three hours of a migraine headache trying to figure stuff out by watching what (he) just said. And then just go ahead and implement. I’ve been doing that my whole life. It’s my dad that’s my best friend. And I do what He tells me to do when he tells me to do it and how he tells me to do it. And things just keep working out well for me. So I’m just going to keep rolling with that.”
  • On his three-game suspension: “I’ve heard people comment (the suspension) is a slap on the wrist. It’s more like a baseball bat to the kneecaps or to the shoulder. I’ve never missed three games unless it was for a broken arm or separated shoulder.”
  • Harbaugh on elevating an analyst to fill Sherrone Moore’s position on the sideline for Saturday: “I’ve been told that we’ll be able to elevate an analyst for his role, not for mine, so that coach will be (offensive analyst Nick) Gilbert most likely coming into that position.”
  • Harbaugh on who will be calling offensive plays in Moore’s absence: “Kirk Campbell. I’m very confident in Kirk’s ability. He’s been prepared. He’s we’ve talked about being dialed in for a game and he’s getting dialed in as well as ever seen.”

Michigan will take on East Carolina University in Ann Arbor on Saturday at noon ET.