Harbaugh said all transfers should be allowed to leave a school with instant eligibility once regardless of circumstances.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
July 20, 2019

Jim Harbaugh stands by his belief that all student-athletes should be allowed to transfer once with instant eligibility, but that a year of no competition should be required for undergraduates transferring for a second time.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Saturday, Harbaugh clarified the comments he made during Friday's Big Ten media day and to ESPNU Big Ten Radio.

"In response to some who say I am deflecting and dodging or pushing an agenda, they could not be more wrong," Harbaugh wrote. "Rather I am choosing to be forthright and transparent. As asked multiple times yesterday at Big Ten Media Day, I offered an opinion. My belief is that a one-time transfer should be allowed for all student-athletes. I am clearly advocating for rights that college football players have not had."

Harbaugh also said Friday that he was concerned some players seeking immediate eligibility cite mental health issues that don't exist but improve their chances of receiving waivers from the NCAA. Harbaugh clarified that he cares about mental health but said he thinks it has become an effective way for players to get waivers approved.

"Down the road, I don't see that helping them if that's not a legitimate thing," he said. "But nobody would know. But what are you going to say? Ten years down the road, 'I just had to say what I had to say'? You're putting them in a position that's unfair, not right. You're saying it just to say it. ... That's not something we should be promoting at the college level. Telling the truth matters, especially at a college."

Harbaugh added that he had no involvement in the ongoing cases of James Hudson and Oliver Martin, who are requesting immediate eligibility waivers at Cincinnati and Iowa, respectively. The NCAA denied to offer Hudson immediate eligibility in May. The offensive tackle, who cited mental health issues in his waiver, said he was denied because he never raised those concerns while with the Wolverines.

Hudson wrote "You cannot be serious" in response to his former coach's remarks Friday, and his mother, Glenda Hudson, spoke with Jordan Strack of WTOL about the situation.

Harbaugh clarified on Saturday that his main point in raising the mental health issue was that student-athletes shouldn't have to specify the reason they want to transfer.

"This would put the decision totally in the hands of the student-athlete and family and would protect all from disclosing information and rights afforded under HIPPA and FERPA," he wrote.

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