When several media outlets yesterday exposed Stanford Football Coach Jim Harbaugh’s interest in becoming the head football coach at Kansas, I had the same reaction we’ve all had to the sad cast of bimbos (allegedly) procured by Tiger Woods.
(Both now out of their Tree)
Okay, maybe that’s an unfair comparison considering Harbaugh’s confirmed interest in the Jayhawks would’ve been a lateral move at best, while Woods’ (alleged) conquests are akin to Harbaugh taking the UAB job. (Whoops, gave Jimbo an idea.)
Yesterday with several, credible Kansas City media outlets reporting that Harbaugh was strongly considering taking the Jayhawks job, the Stanford coach was suddenly unable to be reached by any media outlet. Likewise Stanford Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby, who two days earlier was machine-gunning denials to reporters when Harbaugh’s name popped up for the Notre Dame job.
Today Harbaugh emerged from his press embargo to proclaim his undying allegiance to Stanford and scold media members who had the audacity to report the truth.
“Though the rumor mill has been running full gear, my resolve and future proudly remains as head coach at Stanford University. The reports of the last 24 hours are untrue, though I respect the University of Kansas and athletic director Lew Perkins. I trust this puts an end to these rumors and reports, allowing the focus of fans and the media to shine a bright spotlight on Toby Gerhart today. I love Toby and our players and coaches at Stanford, and as Toby told reporters, I am a Stanford man.”
Harbaugh is a “proud Stanford man”? That must explain why he waited a full 24 hours to shoot down a torrent of reports that his KU hire was imminent. As for Harbaugh’s availability Friday night, Bowlsby told Jon Wilner of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS that, “he said he was traveling until late last night and couldn’t respond to my questions.”
So not only did Harbaugh not make clear his intentions to the media, but he blew off the Stanford athletic director who was also left to twist in the wind!
Harbaugh in his statement to the press acknowledged that he was aware of the “rumor mill running full gear”, so why did he do nothing for a day to quell concern by his own athletic director? And then release a statement scolding the media but failing to specifically deny any of what was reported?
Based on Harbaugh’s well-documented philandering past, in my opinion he spent Friday night and Saturday morning deciding if he wanted to take the Kansas job. When decided against going to Lawrence, he went into damage control mode by absurdly proclaiming his loyalty to Stanford - while also attempting to marginalize completely accurate reports.
And the only reason Harbaugh even made that statement was to assure Stanford recruits that he had no intention of abandoning them (unless Baylor calls) once they stepped on campus at Palo Alto. He obviously could care less about the Stanford fans and his own athletic diretor.
Harbaugh, in my opinion, is a fraud, much like a certain Stanford Hall of Famer we know. Kansas fans should be thankful they landed a rising coaching star in Turner Gill who can’t help but be infinitely more loyal to the program than Harbaugh.
The absurdity of pursuing the Kansas football job tells me that Harbaugh is a confirmed serial job seeker, which is a current affliction suffered by dozens of coaches in college and pro football. The “Proud Stanford Man” will likely next be a “Proud Michigan Man” in 12 months time. And then led around by his nose by every NFL general manager who glances in Harbaugh’s direction.
To be clear, my ire isn’t about a man’s right to better his professional situation. It’s about the transgression of repeated deception in that endeavor.