Jim Harbaugh says threatening tweets a 'serious matter'

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Detroit — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh would not say whether he felt threatened by tweets directed at him this week by a former player, but he is confident the matter is being fully investigated.

For the last several days, a stream of menacing tweets have been posted to the Twitter account belonging to former Michigan linebacker Elysee Mbem-Bosse, who has not been on the team since last November. Some included mentions of guns and violent behavior and a potential threat against Harbaugh.

The University of Michigan Police Department opened an investigation into the tweets on Tuesday. Mbem-Bosse has continued to tweet.

“While there has been no crime committed at this stage, we will continue to assess the situation,” Melissa Overton, Deputy Chief of Police of the University of Michigan police department said Thursday in a statement.

Harbaugh and several assistant coaches participated in the Horatio Williams Coaching Clinic with Detroit high school coaches Thursday night.

“It’s a serious matter,” Harbaugh told The Detroit News. “I’m confident our administration and university officials will take the proper steps and are taking the proper steps.”

Harbaugh was asked if he felt threatened by the tweets.

“That’s all I’m going to say about it,” he said.

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He issued the same response when asked when he became aware of the tweets.

Mbem-Bosse is still enrolled at Michigan, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said Wednesday. A statement from Michigan late Tuesday, confirmed Mbem-Bosse is no longer on the team.

“He left the team in November,” Harbaugh said.

Manuel expressed concern for the well-being of Mbem-Bosse and said university officials had reached out to him.

“Won’t comment on any of the pending investigation,” Manuel said Wednesday after a news conference for a soccer event that will be held at Michigan Stadium. “Always concerned with anything that pops up about a threat and also concerned about him and where he is as a student.

“We care about all the student-athletes we have, whether they’re on the team currently or not, and so concerned on both ends.”

Concern was raised as early as last Saturday when Mbem-Bosse’s Twitter feed was flooded with unsettling commentary. That continued into Sunday and Monday evening when he also tweeted at reporters who were at Schembechler Hall to interview two assistant coaches.

Mbem-Bosse expressed outrage toward Harbaugh, saying he was having an unspecified family crisis and “was suspended for going to take care of my family.” One of the tweets linked to Harbaugh’s twitter, @CoachJim4UM.

Among the tweets were these:

“Michigan is open carry. Let’s not forget.”

“Let’s not have a murder case on your hands.”

“It’s time to say sorry, don’t you think.”

“If anybody wants to make an arrest on me. No need to pull up I’ll come to you in cuffs myself. I wish somebody would put me in front of a judge.”

“Within hours of my family crisis. (Expletive) GN. It’s on tomorrow.”