College football analyst Paul Finebaum appeared on SportsCenter following those comments. There, he blasted Harbaugh for suggesting that Michigan is America’s team.
“I found it sad and pathetic,” Finebaum said. “Why? Because this isn’t America’s team. This isn’t what America’s about. Here we are, just days removed from Veteran’s Day where we honor people who are really representative of America. This team is not representative of anything other than a program accused of cheating. Cheating!”
Jim Harbaugh was suspended by the Big Ten for three games, the remainder of the regular season on Friday. That was due to the sign stealing operation orchestrated by staffer Connor Stalions. It’s Harbaugh’s second three-game suspension of this season, after missing the first three games.
“Trying to steal signs to gain an unfair advantage. That’s not the way this country was built and that’s not what should be described as America’s team.”
Michigan is currently fighting the suspension that the Big Ten levied against head coach Jim Harbaugh in the courts. There is hope that a court could grant a temporary restraining order, which would in turn allow Harbaugh to return to the sidelines and coach for the Wolverines again.
Throughout the entire scandal, the Michigan community has supported Harbaugh. That’s continued amid his suspension. Michigan players were seen carrying signs that read, “Free Jim Harbaugh.” Meanwhile, at a Michigan hockey game, there were chants to “Free Jim Harbaugh.”
That response by the school is something Finebaum has been critical of lately too.
“There’s only so much fake outrage you can display and I think we saw a year’s worth from his assistant coaches and players yesterday,” Finebaum said. “He’s a football coach. Sure, you’re gonna go to war for him, but the university has a different agenda. While everybody is ‘we’re against the world’ and mad and trying to canonize Jim Harbaugh, playing the victim card on national television — there’s a reason they are in this mess. Let’s not forget that.”
Jim Harbaugh calls Michigan ‘America’s Team’
After beating Penn State, Jim Harbaugh pointed out Michigan’s perseverance. That perseverance comes amid the turmoil of his suspension, the sign-stealing scandal, and the media focus on the team. Because of that, Harbaugh sees the Wolverines as America’s team.
“The perseverance, you know, and just the stalwartness of these guys. I mean, it’s gotta be America’s Team. It’s gotta be America’s Team,” Harbaugh said.
“America loves a team that beats the odds, beats the adversity, you know, overcomes what the naysayers and critics, so-called experts think. That’s my favorite kind of team.”