Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh won’t be coaching the team the first three games of the season after athletic director Ware Manuel announced a self-imposed suspension for Harbaugh to “further the process” of an NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michigan’s first three games are all at home against non-conference opponents in East Carolina, UNLV, and Bowling Green. On Wednesday afternoon linebackers coach Chris Partridge said that Harbaugh nor is the team concerned about the suspension. If anything, it sounds like it’s galvanizing the Michigan locker room.
“There’s no worry,” Partridge said. “He doesn’t have any worry. The guys are going to play like their hair is on fire for him.”
Partridge’s comments are similar to what running back Blake Corum has said recently, with Corum believing Harbaugh’s suspension will make the team “go even harder.”
Partridge noted that the team is a direct reflection of who Harbaugh is. This explains why they are ready to play for him and each other in the coming weeks.
“They embody him,” Partridge explained. “Hard-working, blue collar, consistent. They play with no fear. They know he has their back and they have his back. That’s what you feel when you come in here.”
Harbaugh not being on the sideline on Saturday will be unusual for him and the team alike, but Partridge expects a great showing from the squad and one that will make their head coach proud.
“They’re going to come out and they’re going to come out on fire and they’re going to play hard,” Partridge said. “They’re going to do exactly what they need to do and do exactly what he expects them to do.”
Harbaugh said this week that the suspension doesn’t feel like a slap on the wrist and it “feels like a baseball bat to the kneecaps”. Harbaugh and Michigan will be looking to turn that pain into energy and wreak havoc this season.