A JERSEY GUY: Harbaugh Goes His Own Way--As Usual

Mark Blaudschun

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh participated in a protest march this week after George Floyd,  black man, died last week in Minneapolis after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Is anyone in the world of sports surprised by this action?

Probably not. 

Coach Khaki Pants has never been afraid to speak out on any issue and makes a habit of creating his own footprints.

Following the outrage over the death of Floyd, the nation and the world began a series of protest marches.

Harbaugh gave an indication of his feeling in his Twitter account,  writing ""All injustice should be confronted and punished.''

Football coaches generally offer few opinions on subjects outside of their sphere of influence.

Harbaugh, whose competitive instincts have been termed pathological, has never shied away from expressing his opinion a subject.

Harbaugh was one of the pioneers for a change in the transfer system, arguing that each football player should be allowed one "do over'' on his commitment to a school, without penalty during his college career.

The NCAA passed that rule change earlier this year.

Harbaugh's only problem is that as loud as his voice may be and as a large a forum as the football coach at the University of Michigan has, his coaching accomplishments have not met the level of a Nick Saban at Alabama or a Dabo Swinney at Clemson or an Urban Meyer when he was winning national championships at Florida and Ohio State.

It was simply Harbaugh, who in six seasons at Michigan has failed to put a happy face on the Wolverines' Big Ten battle with Ohio State, and has not won a conference title, not to mention a national championship.

He is more quirky than competitive in the opinion of more than a few college football insiders.

Oh, he will get headlines for suggesting that for all of Meyer's success as a coach, controversy follows him.

He will raise eyebrows by taking his football teams on spring trips to Europe as part of a cultural learning experience that is part of his spring drills.

This week Harbaugh simply did what he has always done, expressed an opinion in a public manner.

If he were not a football coach, it wouldn't have been noticed. But he is, and it showed that Jim Harbaugh is more than a big-time football coach whose life is consumed with the X's and O's of his business.

It also gave us another glimpse of Jim Harbaugh.



Mark Blaudschun