Michigan's Manuel: 'No validity' to Jim Harbaugh-to-the-NFL rumors

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

In the midst of another postseason, the rumors regarding Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and NFL jobs have begun to swirl. That has been the norm since he took over as head coach.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel, appearing Thursday on WTKA 1050 in Ann Arbor, shot down those rumors.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel says there's "no validity" to rumors of head coach Jim Harbaugh wanting to leave for the NFL.

On Wednesday, Cris Carter, the former Ohio State receiver, said on FS1 of the head-coaching vacancy in Green Bay to “watch out for Jim Harbaugh, because Jim Harbaugh potentially is trying to get his way out of Michigan.” He cited “sources” telling him the Cleveland Browns also could be shopping for Harbaugh.

Harbaugh just completed his fourth regular season coaching the Wolverines to a 10-2 record and a New Year’s Six Bowl appearance against Florida in the Peach Bowl.

“I would say consider the source of the comment,” Manuel said on WTKA. “Cris is very accomplished in his life, but he went to the school down south. We tend to throw out things like that — sources said, my sources. Listen, I have not missed any sleep. Jim has not said anything to me about it. He’s on the road recruiting, putting great effort in.

“So from my perspective, it has no validity at all. There’s been zero conversations about it. I believe Jim is very happy here. He is working to continue to bring in great recruits here. Preparing to go down to the bowl game at the Peach Bowl and play a very good Florida team.”

More: Next year starts now: Michigan football hits reset button

Two years ago at about this time, rumors were circulating about Harbaugh to the Rams. He responded at the annual football banquet calling the sources of those rumors “jive turkeys.”

“I’m not leaving Michigan,” Harbaugh said two years ago. “Not even considering it. 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 the recruits, to their families, try to manipulate them into going to some other school besides Michigan.

“We know them as jive turkeys. Say it like it is. That’s the way it is.”

The early recruiting signing period begins Dec. 19.

Manuel said on the radio show he has spoken to Harbaugh several times the past week.

“His focus every time we’ve had a conversation has only been on the University of Michigan and making us better,” Manuel said. “I don’t give any credence to those comments.”


Twitter: @chengelis