Jim Harbaugh calls again for sharing revenue with student-athletes.
The Michigan coach — who has been suspended for the Wolverines’ first three games of the season — opened his press conference Monday with a lengthy statement calling on college athletes to get a piece of the leagues’ TV deals.
He said the current system was failing quickly.
“We have to try to make it work, we have to try to make it better now,” Harbaugh He said. “The status quo is unacceptable and will not continue. In my opinion, when we capitalize on talent, we should pay them for their contributions to the bottom line.
This idea is not new to Harbaugh. He’s brought it up twice now at Big Ten media days in recent years. But his comments now come amid a huge boom in convention re-alignment, which has led to new, larger television contracts. The Big Ten, which will host USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington next year, recently signed a massive $8 billion television deal. The ACC, which is considering adding Stanford, Cal and SMU, is expected to bring in an estimated $72 million annually if the league moves forward. The Big 12 reached a six-year deal with ESPN and Fox last year — before its latest expansion — worth more than $2 billion.
Harbaugh said that if athletes, especially soccer players, are the ones fueling these deals, they should get at least part of the cut.
Harbaugh did not go into detail about how this revenue-sharing system would work, or how it would affect minor sports outside of football. The discrepancy isn’t as bad as it used to be either, with the NCAA’s new NIL rules allowing athletes to earn money off their names while competing. However, it would be very difficult to find out.
However, the system he advocated is one that is “fair, equitable, and beneficial to all concerned.”
“I want them to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve,” Harbou said. “What I don’t understand is how the NCAA, television networks, conferences, universities, and coaches can continue to make millions, in some cases billions, in revenue from the efforts of college student-athletes across the country without providing enough opportunity to participate in the ever-growing revenue.”
With how slowly the NCAA has changed its NIL laws, it’s unclear how much impact Harbaugh’s comments will have.
The suspension is like a “baseball bat in the knees.”
Michigan self-imposed a three-game suspension on Harbaugh earlier this month after the NCAA’s four-game suspension fell through. The NCAA determined that Harbaugh made the false statements after officials investigated alleged recruiting violations during the COVID-19 dead period.
While Harbaugh claims that lying about getting cheeseburgers with recruits has attracted most of the attention, the NCAA said there was a wide range of activities he was involved in.
“I’ve heard people comment, ‘It’s a slap on the wrist.’ It’s like a baseball bat on the knees or the shoulder,” Harbaugh said Monday. via Melif.
“I equate everything with football. I have never missed three games except because of a broken arm or shoulder.”
Harbaugh will miss No. 2 Michigan’s season opener against East Carolina on Saturday, and then games against UNLV and Bowling Green. He will return for the Wolverines vs. Rutgers game on September 23rd.
Defensive coordinator Jesse Minter will take the lead on Saturday, and then a handful of coaches will take charge the rest of the way.
“I will continue to coach the team,” Harbou said. via Melif. “Some people call me and ask my wife, ‘What are we doing during the three weeks we’re about to take?'” There is not one. I train every day. This will be the Saturday, the Saturday after, the Saturday after.
“How am I going to respond to that? How am I going to feel? I don’t know.”