For the second straight year, Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby has been forced to deal with rumors attaching Jim Harbaugh‘s name to various vacancies. Or, to potential vacancies as the case may be.
Earlier this month, Bowlsby stated that the school has “a proposal in front of Jim and he’s indicated he plans to accept it.”
Apparently, somebody failed to inform Harbaugh of the latter part of the equation. And the former part as well.
After telling Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News “I haven’t even discussed” the contract with his boss, Harbaugh was told about Bowlsby’s comments that the coach plans to accept it.
“Maybe he misspoke,” Harbaugh said.
(Is it getting chilly in here or is it just me?)
In the weeks since the end of the regular season, Harbaugh has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Urban Meyer at Florida and Randy Shannon at Miami. The real worries for Bowlsby and Cardinal Nation, however, come from both Ann Arbor and the NFL. As an alum, Harbaugh is at the very tip of everyone’s tongue when it comes to potential replacements for Rich Rodriguez if/when he’s fired by Michigan/resigns to pursue a karaoke career after the Wolverines’ bowl game. There are also some people who feel that Harbaugh prefers the NFL and that will be his next destination if he decides to leave The Farm.
Harbaugh’s brother, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, said recently that his brother is happy at Stanford, “he’d love to stay there, but then again, you just have to see what happens” when it comes to potential opportunities down the road.
Stanford, obviously, realizes that. And, Wilner reports, the school is sweetening its financial pot in an effort to keep him in the fold.
According to Wilner, and citing sources close to the university’s powerbrokers, the offer on the table to Harbaugh is worth approximately $3 million per year and includes substantial amounts of deferred compensation and housing assistance.
Would that be enough to keep their outstanding head coach if Michigan or the NFL came calling? It sure wouldn’t hurt, of course. Then again, a school like Michigan has the financial means and could afford to trump anything the Cardinal has to offer monetarily.
Harbaugh’s going to get paid regardless; it’s simply a matter of where he’ll be sending his state taxes to for the foreseeable future.