We knew that Jim Harbaugh would respond to the recent NCAA vote to ban satellite camps. That was a certainty. Even with the Michigan head coach's history of lashing out, we wouldn't have predicted just how hard Harbaugh swung back in response. In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg, Harbaugh slams the NCAA, and even the term "student-athlete" in light of the vote.
As Harbaugh tells SI : "The incompetence of the NCAA has reared its ugly head yet again."
Harbaugh says the ruling was "knee-jerk ... like somebody was shaving in the morning, cut themselves when they were shaving and said, 'Let's just ban satellite camps.'
"I mean, what's it based on? A survey? There wasn't a lot of discussion or study. What are the facts? What are the perils and merits of making that decision? It just seemed lacking in that regard."
Satellite camps are no new concept, but Harbaugh put a special emphasis on them after taking over at Michigan, with a specific target on the Southeast, home of many ACC and SEC power programs.
"During the NCAA basketball tournament we discuss the term 'student-athlete' ad nauseam in promoting our governing institution and our member institutions. Then, when we have an opportunity to truly promote the 'student-athlete' with a concept shared by educators and football men from all backgrounds, our leadership goes into hiding.
"I suggest we drop the term 'student-athlete' for consistency."
Harbaugh wasn't afraid to take targeted swipes at rival coaches either, specifically Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze who recently defended the decision.
"It seems to be outrage by the SEC and ACC," Harbaugh says. "They power-brokered that out ... the image that comes to my mind is guys in a back room smoking cigars, doing what they perceive is best for them. It certainly isn't the best thing for the youngsters. It's not the best thing for the student-athletes."
Harbaugh saw Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze say, "I'm away from my family enough, and I just did not want to go," and it did not sit well with him.
Says Harbaugh: "You've got a guy sitting in a big house, making $5 million a year, saying he does not want to sacrifice his time. That is not a kindred spirit to me. What most of these coaches are saying is they don't want to work harder."
While some may assume Harbaugh is the coach affected most, he's done a great job at Michigan so far, and that program rarely needs help on the recruiting trail. He'll get his players. This really hurts small schools that aren't in talent-rich areas this most, and players who aren't in position to receive the exposure that those in places like Florida, Georgia, and Texas receive. We'll see if Harbaugh's complaints hold real weight, or if they will just fall on deaf ears.