Harbaugh is now coaching at Stanford, working his way up the college coach's food chain. A few months back, he blasted his alma mater for recently accepting players who were "borderline guys", claiming they got into Michigan because they could play football and nothing else. Harbaugh was upset over his former school's relaxation of academic standards towards football players.
Many universities (coughMiamicough) can attest that recruitment for one reason only can lead to having unsavory characters on your team. Harbaugh's comments were brought forth once it came to light that said unsavories were not going to see punishment for unsavory activities (Adrian Arrington, you'll be the "example" in this scenario, K?)*
Whiny Michigan fans and their whiniest player, Mike Hart shot back. But rather than defend the university, they attacked the messenger. Hart moaned and complained about Harbaugh and guessed that he was "jealous" (seriously, Hart...how fifth grade are you?).
Today, ESPN analyst Pat Forde spoke up...and found that Harbaugh may be right about this one.
Amongst Forde's findings;
- There are 98 players on Michigan's roster. 68 of them have not declared a major. Only 30 players have a declared major.
- Of those 30 majors, 19 of them are in "General Studies".
- This means that 20% of the Michigan team has a "General Studies" major....less than 1% of the entire student body at UM has that qualification.
- The other 11 declared majors are in the following fields - Physical Education, Sports Management, Movement Science, English, American Culture, Economics, Communication, and Psychology.
- Nearly the entire junior class has no declared major. (How many people spend three years at college without knowing why they are there? And of those people, how many can ever claim they're "serious about their education"?)
Forde went to a great deal of trouble to give all sides a chance to speak in his article. He allowed Michigan a chance to respond to his findings (they refused until after the article was published). He contacted a director at Michigan's School of Literature, Science and Arts, who defended "general studies" as being harder than most majors. He allowed Harbaugh to reiterate his original comments. He allowed Lloyd Carr an opportunity. He allowed Mike Hart to attempt to argue his way out of a paper bag (Hart failed, as usual).
But all the bloviating and spin did not leave an impression on Forde, as evidenced by the last line in his column;
It seems as though folks in Ann Arbor are defensive for a reason these days. Even to the point of devouring one of their own.Should make for a fun season....but I wouldn't expect to see Stanford on the UM schedule anytime soon.
* - Any use of the nickname "Adrian Unsavorrington" may not be used without the expressed written consent of the BBC.