Jim Harbaugh is refuting reports of interest in NFL jobs by sending a letter to parents of current players and commitments that addresses recent rumors of an exit strategy from Michigan.
The letter was first reported by The Michigan Insider and was confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.
Harbaugh writes in the letter that recent reports of him pursuing an exit strategy are “total crap,” and that it is “an annual strategy driven by Michigan’s enemies to cause disruption to our program and to negatively recruit.”
Harbaugh goes on to write that he doesn’t have an agent or a representative. Reports said his representatives were gauging interest from NFL teams for any head-coaching opportunities.
A source close to Michigan said Harbaugh was angry about the reports and that they were “fabricated to hurt in recruiting.”
It’s not the first time Harbaugh has reportedly been linked to NFL jobs, and it’s not the first time he has shot down such reports. As early as December 2016, Harbaugh has denied rumors about his interest in returning to the NFL.
In 2018, he spoke to ESPN’s Adam Schefter about them resurfacing and the intent to harm his program.
“This is a choreographed message that comes up at this time every year before signing day,” Harbaugh told Schefter then. “It’s people spreading messages to further their own personal agenda. But I’m on record right here, right now: I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying at Michigan. We have big plans here, and there’s a lot we want to accomplish.”
Michigan is 5-2 this season and still has Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State on the schedule. The Wolverines are recruiting well, holding on to the No. 8-ranked class in 2020 with eight ESPN 300 commitments.
The rumors have not had a major impact on recruiting in the past. A source close to one of Michigan’s ESPN 300 commitments told ESPN that the reports aren’t a concern for the recruit and he understands, even if Harbaugh were to eventually leave, that coaching changes happen.