"No," was Harbaugh's blunt reply when asked if he was "worth the money."
The comment came during a report that aired Monday from former Detroit News writer Charlie LeDuff that examined the salaries of high-profile coaches at major universities compared to those of other public officials.
"Well, then give it back," a surprised LeDuff deadpanned in response to Harbaugh's answer.
"I like making a buck just like the next guy," Harbaugh replied. "Not doing five times as much work as somebody else, or doing more work than somebody who is not the head coach at the University of Michigan, so to answer your question, honestly I would have to say, 'no.'"
When asked if other coaches would take a pay cut if Harbaugh agreed to take one, the coach said he didn't know.
"Want to see?" LeDuff asked.
"No," Harbaugh replied. "Fair question, but, as I said, I'm willing to work for it."
Harbaugh, the former San Francisco 49ers head coach, took the job at Michigan in December after the 49ers went 8-8 and failed to make the playoffs.
- Will Green