ESPN’s Sins Against Cardinal Were Unforgivable

Monday Stanford completed a historic football season with a convincing victory over Virgina Tech in the Orange Bowl. The win was the culmination of the greatest program turnaround in college football history. (At least outside of Evanston and Manhattan, Kansas.)

Jim Harbaugh blows off Rece Davis

(Video below)

In five years, the Stanford team has done the unthinkable, going from 1-11 in 2006 - the year before current coach Jim Harbaugh arrived - to 12-1 this season with its only loss on the road to top-ranked Oregon.

No, this isn’t any ordinary, bowl-victorious college football team. The Cardinal’s season is undeniably cause for a certain measure of awe and reflection.

Sadly though, the primary disseminators of Stanford’s crowning achievement, Orange Bowl broadcaster ESPN, steeply discounted the historical significance of the moment by focusing on what is, in comparison, a rather transient subject. Read more…

Forcier: “You really have to try to flunk out here”

When Jim Harbaugh first took over a ghastly Stanford program in 2007, two things stood out about his early stewardship:

Tate Forcier

1) He installed a winning attitude that would eventually see the Cardinal to a BCS bowl this season.
2) He ripped his alma mater Michigan for its coddling of football players when it came to academics

In the late summer of 2007, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER columnist Glenn Dickey had this from Harbaugh:

“College football needs Stanford. We’re looking not for student athletes but scholar-athletes. No other school can carry this banner. The Ivy League schools don’t have enough weight [because of their low athletic level]. Other schools which have good academic reputations have ways to get borderline athletes in and keep them in.”

Harbaugh includes his alma mater, Michigan, in that indictment.

“Michigan is a good school and I got a good education there,” he said, “but the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in and, when they’re in, they steer them to courses in sports communications. They’re adulated when they’re playing, but when they get out, the people who adulated them won’t hire them.”

The former star quarterback for the Wolverines then didn’t back away when confronted about the remarks by the DETROIT FREE PRESS:

“I would use myself as an example. I came in there, wanted to be a history major, and I was told early on in my freshman year that I shouldn’t be. That it takes too much time. Too much reading. That I shouldn’t be a history major and play football.”

That prompted 2007 Michigan football captain Michael Hart to later say of Harbaugh, “He’s a guy I have no respect for.”

At the time, Harbaugh’s comments were thought to be an unforgivable sin in Ann Arbor.

Times change.

As current UM coach Rich Rodriguez twists in the win, Harbaugh is now the obvious favorite to take over the Michigan program if Rodriguez is jettisoned by school Athletic Director Dave Brandon.

Somehow even more ironic than Harbaugh’s criticism of Michigan in ‘07 was the words of quarterback Tate Forcier today in an interview with the DETROIT FREE PRESS. Read more…

Chip Kelly: Game Ref Is “Friends” With Harbaugh

At halftime of the Stanford-Oregon game in Eugune on Saturday night, Oregon Coach Chip Kelly showed his dissatisfaction with the officiating during an interview with Erin Andrews on ABC-TV.

Chip Kelly

(Credit: Portland Oregonian, ABC-TV)

During his comments about a lack of communication with the presiding game referee, Kelly went so far as to flippantly suggest that perhaps the ref was ignoring him because the official was “friends” with opposing Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.

Transcription and video of Kelly’s comments are below. Read more…

2009: Willingham Paid More Than Weis By N.D.

Brian Hamilton of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE has a breakdown today of the 2009 Notre Dame paycheck of Charlie Weis.

Tyrone Willingham Charlie Weis

Weis earned $649,090 from Notre Dame, including base salary, bonuses, “other” income, deferred income and non-taxable benefits. But the table for “compensation from unrelated organizations” offers insight into the areas of true windfall.

After going through additional payments to Weis from outside soucres, Hamilton noted:

And ex-football coach Ty Willingham remained on the university payroll, so to speak, for yet one more year, earning $650,000 from Notre Dame — $910 more than Weis was paid, officially, by the school.

Willingham, who was fired by Notre Dame five years ago, was also fired by the University of Washington two years ago.

So could that mean that Willingham is also still getting paid by Washington? (Oh hell nah.)

Read more…

LA Daily News: Pete Carroll Resigns As USC Coach

Scott Wolf of the L.A. DAILY NEWS, who Friday was the first to report that Pete Carroll had accepted the head coaching job with the Seahawks, is first with the news Sunday that Carroll has resigned his position as USC coach. follows up by reporting that Carroll handed in his resignation tonight.

LA Daily News breaks that Pete Carroll has resigned


Two USC administration sources told me today that Carroll actually resigned last night over concerns that a delay in finalizing his new job in Seattle was wrecking USC’s recruiting class. (Which it was.)

So now what is USC looking at? Don’t ask.
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Harbaugh: Stanford Philanderer Of a Different Kind

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.

Jim Harbaugh And Tiger Woods: Stanford Philanderers

(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! Read more…

Report: Harbaugh To Accept Kansas Football Job

KCSP-AM in Kansas City is reporting that Jim Harbaugh has been offered the Kansas football coaching job and will accept it as soon as tomorrow.

Jim Harbaugh Stanford

2 Sources have told 610 Sports Radio that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh will fly to Lawrence following Saturday’s Heisman Trophy Ceremony to accept the deal to be the new Kansas Head Coach. He’s expected to have an annual salary of $2.7 million a year. In a statement, KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins said that the process is “ongoing” and “We have not offered the Head Coaching position to anyone.

Kansas City ABC-TV affiliate KMBC is also reporting that Harbaugh has been offered the job. Read more…

Carroll To Jim Harbaugh: “I Am Not Forgetting It”

Pete Carroll guested on the (Steve) Mason & (John) Ireland show on ESPN 710 in Los Angeles this week. The coach attempted to hedge his comments about Harbaugh’s decision to go for two with his Stanford team already ahead of Carroll’s USC Trojans 48-21 last Saturday in L.A.. But instead, Carroll let slip smoldering resentment.

Jim Harbaugh Pete Carroll

MASON: What do you think, now a couple of days removed, of Harbaugh going for the two-point conversion?

CARROLL: Well, really, even since the time that it happened, you know, I haven’t bothered with it, and I know everybody else has and taken a lot of time to kinda discuss it and all. I think, you know, it is what you think it is, you know, it’s a statement that you can take away that maybe they were trying to accomplish something that seems out of the ordinary, you know, I don’t really care, to tell you the truth, it doesn’t matter.

And when you look at it like, uh, they’re ahead in the game and they’re in command of it, they really get to do whatever they want to do, and it doesn’t bother me to worry about it anymore, you know what I mean? Jim came out and said what he wanted to say, you know, a couple different times about it and, you know, to me it’s dropped, I don’t care.

Will I forget it? No, I’m not forgetting it. But uh, you know, to me, it’s in the past.

Would Jim Harbaugh leave Stanford if offered the Michigan job?

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Opposite Day! Stanford Thinks Harbaugh Will Stay

Jon Wilner of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS had the obligatory news just hours after Stanford’s monster win @ USC Saturday that the Cardinal’s athletic admin was doing all it could to slap together a contract extension for coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jim Harbaugh: Fooled You Too?

(Had ya fooled?)

The past 24 hours I’ve heard several media members say they thought the Palo Alto-raised Harbaugh would stay at Stanford because he had such a good situation. Likewise myoptic Stanford alums, who have been in my ear since Harbaugh extinguished the L.A. Coliseum’s victory torch on Saturday evening, claiming the coach has no interest in going anywhere.

Apparently those folks weren’t paying attention in January.

Will Jim Harbaugh stay at Stanford if he’s offered an NFL job?

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So, How Did Carroll Really Break Off Harbaugh?

Earlier,  Adam Jacobi aftermathed the frosty midfield handshake between Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh last Saturday at The Coli. He noted that Ray Ratto of the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE sourced Carroll querying Harbaugh, “What’s your deal?” Harbaugh then shot back the same.

Pete Carroll Drops F Bomb In Mike Bellotti's Direction

Carroll and Harbaugh have yet to confirm or deny Ratto’s report, so in the meantime I’ll take a stab at the exchange. I prefer to cite the salutation to former Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti from Carroll as a possibility - at least the S.C. side of the field.

Or maybe I just wanted to link the video again. (NSFW after the jump.)

Read more…