Thursday, January 12, 2023

Michigan Thursday: I don't Love Warde But.......................

Negotiations are difficult at any level, they're even more difficult when you're talking about $10M-$20M worth of head coach and assistant coaching salaries.  I don't have real insight into how the University of Michigan works but I will give you advice from being in a corporate environment for more years than I want to admit. 

Let me start with Warde.  I don't love his leadership in the Athletics office, he bungled the hockey coach situation and almost made a terrible decision in hiring his buddy Ed Cooley as Michigan's head basketball coach.  He has a difficult job, because the person below him and above him has more power than he does.   When Michigan's President is not interested in sports, Warde had more perceived power with athletics, when the President is engaged.  He doesn't.  

I know twitter is on fire about firing Warde.  Believe me, if Jimmy wants Warde gone, he would be.    If you weigh Jimmy's value vs. Warde value, it's not even close.  I will take you back to when Tressel got in trouble and the OSU President said, "I'm more worried about Jim firing me".  

Don't compare a huge mistake to Jimmy's situation.  Another Twitter beef is Jim should be paid more than Chris Tucker at MSU (yes, I know its Mel).  MSU has to over pay for any coach, just like the Minnesota Twins has to over pay for a player that couldn't pass a physical for 2 other teams.   That Tucker contract looks terrible now and will haunt MSU like the Notre Dame Charlie Weis over reaction contract did for them.   Nobody is arguing that Tucker is a better coach then Harbaugh.  With incentives, Harbaugh made over $10M last season, so he isn't having any issue paying his bills. 

The NCAA allegations don't help.  We all know the NCAA is an "empty chair" organization but getting a Level 1 allegation during a contract negotiation doesn't help anything.  We know it's not serious and probably over a couple cheeseburgers, but still a distraction during a process that should be focused on completing a contract.  

Lastly, Jimmy's flirtation with the NFL is tiring for everyone and not a good look.  The timing is also terrible for recruiting.  It's an annual event and no matter how many contract extensions he signs with Michigan, he picks up the phone when the NFL calls.  That is not on Warde, it's on Jimmy. 

On a side note, I have no confidence in Warde being able to pick a successor if Harbaugh jumps to the NFL. Also, for those blaming Warde for losing Coach B to the NBA, the only 2 people who thought Coach B could coach in the NBA were Coach Beilein and Dan Gilbert.  Don't blame Warde for that poor decision.

So where does that leave us?  Todd Anson on twitter is not helping matters.  If he really is Harbaugh's buddy, he should shut up and let things happen.   Jimmy's agent is going to do agent things and that is why he hired his brother agent after years without one.  

There are a few things that should signal one thing or another. 

1. The recruiting dead period ends today and if Harbaugh is on the road, that should be a good sign he stays.  He will have to answer what his contract status is with every family he talks to.

2. If he does an in-person interview in Denver, it should mean he is serious about leaving.  

I don't see Warde being a problem if Jimmy and Santa (including some large donors) have a handshake deal. 
  • Gemon Green is heading to the NFL.  The hope is Michigan has some quality CB's on the depth chart, but still might need to hit the portal for next season.  McBurrows who has two injured years could be a very good player if he could get and stay healthy, 
  • Stenson Bennett is older than 5 NFL Playoff QB's
  • Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren is leaving his post to become the CEO of the Chicago Bears. 
  • Hutch wins the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for both December and January


Blue said...

A re-posted link to a 247Sports post, draw your own conclusions.

It is my understanding with Harbaugh looking to re-write a new contract it is clear what he's looking for. To be paid as he should as one of the top college coaches in America, increased financial support for his assistants, support against the NCAA infractions, and support from Warde involving NIL matters, (Wade last year shot down a heavily funded endowment benefitting UM football).

Let's realize Harbaugh is not only looking for a fair base salary, but is also fighting in increasing the assistant staff pool, along with breaking the NIL road block Warde has created in not wanting to share donor support with the athletics.

For those wanting to throw Harbaugh 100% under the bus there's unusually 2 sides to every story.

Chowman said...

Found this online so take it for what it's worth:

If true, the part that troubles me is a $5M buyout. That's peanuts to an NFL owner. Just screams to me that Jim wants to keep his options open, and I'm at a point where enough is enough. Stay or go, but enough with the fence sitting.

Ron said...

Well I don't blame him for wanting more money considering that the Nebraska new football coach is making more than him Mel Tucker is making more than him. Right now I think he's the fourth coach in the big ten in pay. You know how egotistical he is

Thom said...

If Jimmy was the highest paid coach in college football, no matter what, every year he would be looking to put his name in the NFL Transfer Portal for any job that was open.

lryblack said...

How do you know the level I charge isn't serious? They don't seem to worried about. But still, I don't know what it is.

ScottyDoggs said...

I just had to look it up: Charlie Weis made 64.5 million in 8 years with a 41-49 record in college football. Is now a well renowned carnival barker selling copper bracelets for arthritis.