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Harbaugh still has beef over officiating in OSU game

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is not backing off comments on the officiating in the Michigan-Ohio State game, but will leave it as, simply, a difference of opinion.

Harbaugh was reprimanded by the Big Ten for his postgame comments — he said he was “bitterly disappointed” with the officiating in the Wolverines’ double-overtime loss — and the program was fined $10,000.

The Wolverines are now preparing to face Florida State in the Orange Bowl and during a conference call for the bowl, Harbaugh was asked if after watching the Michigan-Ohio State film his opinion had changed regarding the officiating.

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“Well, I guess we can all just call it, we see it differently and leave it go with that,” Harbaugh said. “But I still don’t accept it as a given that you can’t speak your mind and give your opinion on how you see things. If telling the truth is making things worse, then so be it.”

Speight will play

Speight, who played the regular-season finale despite an undisclosed injury to his left (non-throwing) shoulder, said he plans to play in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30 against Florida State.

Speight was injured late in the loss at Iowa and sat out the Indiana game the next week.

“Healthy enough to play to be able and try and make as many plays as I could for the team,” Speight said when asked how healthy he was for the Ohio State game, in which he had three turnovers. “This week off has helped. We didn’t practice this week. We’ll start back up on Tuesday. Not sure the extent how hard we’ll go this first week. I’m getting healthier every day.”

He was asked if by the Orange Bowl he could be back to his level of health before the injury.

“Not sure,” Speight said. “Not to sound like coach Harbaugh, I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know the extent of what’s going to happen. But I know I’m getting better every day.”

Cole likely back

Center Mason Cole plans to test the NFL waters and submit paperwork to get a feel for how he would be evaluated.

But Cole expects to come back to Michigan next season.

“Just sort of know where I need to improve. That’s really it,” Cole said, explaining why he will go that route.

He said he will talk to his family about it after the Orange Bowl but already seems to have made up his mind.

“Definitely leaning (toward coming back),” he said.

Introductions needed?

Harbaugh was unavailable for the Orange Bowl conference call that FSU coach Jimbo Fisher attended, but a second call accommodated Harbaugh after he landed Sunday.

He opened the call with an introduction: “Hi, my name is Jim Harbaugh.” He explained he had been on a plane. Harbaugh has been recruiting since the end of the regular season.

Jim Harbaugh

 Twitter: @chengelis