Harbaugh: 'Jive turkeys' spread rumors of my exit

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Livonia — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, in light of recent rumors the Rams might make a play for him, told his team Monday after practice he is not leaving the program.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh takes a poll to decide how to present the M rings and awards to the players.

And Harbaugh made his sentiments perfectly clear during the annual football bust Tuesday night at the Laurel Manor

“I’m not leaving Michigan. Not even considering it,” Harbaugh said to the crowd, which erupted with loud applause. “A lot of this talk is coming from our enemies, from coaches.

“You know the names. You probably know the names of the top three I’m referring to. They like to say that to the media. They like to tell that to recruits and their families and try to manipulate them into going to some other school besides Michigan. We know them as jive turkeys.”

Harbaugh’s name has been caught and spun around in the NFL rumor mill again. That’s not unexpected, though, considering he spent four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and many NFL pundits believe Harbaugh has unfinished business in the league, specifically winning a Super Bowl.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher was fired Sunday, and during a recent interview with radio show host Colin Cowherd, MMQB’s Albert Breer, an NFL “insider” said the Harbaugh-to-the-Rams rumor is a “very real thing.”

He is completing his second season coaching his alma mater. The Wolverines (10-2) are preparing to face Florida State in the Orange Bowl. They were on the College Football Playoff fringe, but losses to Iowa and Ohio State by a total of four points in the last three weeks of the season prevented them from moving into that elite group.

Harbaugh made it clear to his team he has unfinished business in Ann Arbor and suggested the rumors have been perpetuated by college rivals.

“He said, ‘Look guys, short, sweet to the point, I’m not leaving, don’t worry about it. These are lies made up by our enemies,’” senior defensive lineman Ryan Glasgow said Tuesday night before the team’s annual bust. “It got the team all riled up. We don’t want any enemies infiltrating our fortress.”

Senior offensive lineman Erik Magnuson said the Harbaugh rumor mill is fed by rival college programs.

“He said he’s staying here, he ain’t going nowhere,” Magnuson said.

“He ain’t leaving,” senior offensive lineman Kyle Kalis chimed in.

“He ain’t going nowhere,” Magnuson said again.

Magnuson and Kalis, who sat next to each other while talking to reporters Tuesday night, said all of this is about negative recruiting.

“For sure,” Kalis said. “It’s all planned.”

Magnuson said people, especially recruits, should not pay attention to the rumors.

“A lot of it, unfortunately is just distractions caused by, some of it’s by other teams,” Magnuson said. “It really hurts recruiting, I think, if they’re saying Jim Harbaugh is going into the NFL. Some recruits can think there’s no stability in the coaching job at Michigan, so that can hurt him. A lot of it is created for a distraction in that aspect as far as recruiting. I can’t see him going anywhere. This is where he wants to be.”

Glasgow said as soon as he started seeing the rumors on social media he knew there was nothing to them. “I’d see that on Twitter or Facebook and be like, ‘This is just not true. This is blatantly false,’” Glasgow said.

“We knew just based on how much coach Harbaugh loves the program, loves Michigan, he’s not leaving any time soon, if ever,” Glasgow said.


 Twitter: @chengelis