Friday February 12th, 2016

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is known for his bizarre (and controversial) recruiting tactics. As it turns out, all his tree-climbing and sleepovers comes with a cost. 

According to documents acquired by USA Today, Harbaugh’s contract gives him access to a private jet for recruiting purposes, and those trips are expensive. During Harbaugh’s first month as coach of the Wolverines, his private jet usage was valued at over $10,000 a day over a 12-day stretch. That’s at least $120,000 worth of flying.

Jim Harbaugh and Michigan’s recruiting controversies, explained

To put that into context, here are some other things you could do with $120,000:

  • Rent half of a studio apartment in New York City (private bathroom)
  • Pay college athletes
  • Rent a whole studio apartment in New York City (shared bathroom)
  • Buy a house in a sleepy suburb
  • Pay college athletes
  • Buy a really nice horse (submitted by Erin Flynn)
  • Buy about 100,000 bagels (submitted by Dan Gartland)
  • Pay for someone to go to college
  • Donate $120,000 to the people of Flint, Mich.
  • Pay college athletes

USA Today reports Harbaugh’s total travel expenses from the 12-day period approached $136,000. Harbaugh signed a seven-year contract with Michigan in 2015, worth $5 million annually. The coach received a $2 million bonus upon signing and is eligible for 10% raises after three and five years. 

– Rohan Nadkarni

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.