Harbaugh on recruiting: ‘Hard to beat the cheaters’

Field Level Media

August 22, 2019 at 6:23 pm.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh makes a controversial remark about how much money SEC schools spend on recruiting in a new book about his Wolverines football program.

“(It’s) hard to beat the cheaters,” Harbaugh tells author John U. Bacon in the soon-to-be-released book entitled, “Overtime: Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines at the Crossroads of College Football.”

Harbaugh doesn’t explain his definition of cheating or name any specific schools or coaches, according to a review of the book posted Wednesday by Forbes.com.

According to a report last month by Stadium, SEC member Georgia spent $2.63 million on recruiting in 2018 — nearly double the $1.40 million spent by Michigan. Other SEC schools, including Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee, did not release their data for that report.

“If you want to make Michigan great, and make yourself great, this is a great place to be,” Harbaugh says in the book. “The (recruits) you have to oversell what we have to offer, you know it’s not going to work. If you don’t get the appeal of the program, of a Michigan education, of the kind of camaraderie you get working with like-minded people — well, I don’t know what to tell you. You’ll probably be happier somewhere else — and maybe we will be, too!”

Michigan had the No. 8 recruiting class in the nation in 2019, according to the 247Sports composite. Among those ahead of the Wolverines were four SEC programs: Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU.

Harbaugh, 55, opens his fifth season as head coach at his alma mater when No. 7 Michigan hosts Middle Tennessee State in Ann Arbor on Aug. 31.