Jim Mandich used to say about some situations "when I put it to my
nose, it doesn't smell so rosy."
And in this case, you can apply it to the Harbaugh situation.
We hear that Harbaugh has been offered a huge contract at Michigan.
You have to naturally wonder what's to be gained by letting this
information slip. Is it a legit offer? Or is it a bargaining chip
planted by someone to provide leverage - particularly when it comes to
the 49ers saying they might allow another pro team to *trade* for his
Or is it maybe something in between?
And the curious part, to me, is the fact that one Stephen Ross is the
largest donor at Michigan, and he has some kind of magical powers
granted by the state. His name is on the athletic building. He was
there when the last AD and coach were under fire, answering questions
about his favorite football program.
You have to assume that someone with that sort of power would have
been asked about such a contract. That he would have been consulted
about the coaching search.
Now I'm not trying to imply that there is anything underhanded going
on here. I have no idea, no knowledge of anything other than what I
see published or what someone closer to Michigan (again NOT an
insider) might share. But. It seems kind of odd that Ross' college
team makes an offer to a guy under contract in the pros....and the net
result could very well be that coach could be freed up to coach his
It certainly smacks of something not-quite-right.
Now that said, I suspect that Ross wants Harbuagh to coach at
Michigan. And in the end there's no controversy. He gets him at a
program he loves, and can hobnob with him to his hearts content.
And as far as the Dolphins, he's going to take the proverbial "path of
least resistance" and say he thinks the Dolphins are heading in the
right direction, and while he's disappointed that they didn't make the
playoffs, he's keeping Philbin. Its less work for him; no time
invested in coaching search.
And it frees him up to focus on Michigan, which is the football
program he really loves anyway. ;)