Harbaugh’s ‘war with Rutgers’ prompts litter at Paramus

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Jim Harbaugh

Paramus, N.J. — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has been the target of scrutiny and vitriol even before he started his summer tour of satellite camps.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Next Level Football Camp at Paramus Catholic High School, the field at the school was littered with what school president James Vail called “vandalism,” according to a report by NJ Advance Media.

Vail said staff members arrived Wednesday morning and found paraphernalia from Rutgers University — mainly magnets, papers and a teddy bear — at the middle of the football field.

“The litter has already been cleaned up and we’re ready to go for the camp,” Vail told NJ Advance Media.

The report said emails from a local group unofficially affiliated with Rutgers claimed responsibility for the act, alerting media outlets of the display and crediting Harbaugh with “starting a war with Rutgers.”

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The Paramus camp is competing with another camp, the Rutgers Football Tri-State Showcase, hosted by Farleigh Dickinson University and featuring Rutgers coach head coach Chris Ash and his staff, in addition to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and some Buckeye staff members. That includes new defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, a former head coach at Rutgers.

The hubbub is causing local schools and players to pick sides, as many coaches are steering their players to attend one camp over the other. Each is expected to attract as many as 650 players from around the New Jersey area, as well as other states.

Paramus’ connection to Michigan includes assistant coach Chris Partridge, along with current Wolverine Jabrill Peppers. UM also has signed Paramus standout Rashan Gary, the No. 1 recruit in the nation in the 2016 class.

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard 

The Paramus Catholic field was cleaned up by the time Wednesday night's camp got underway.