Jim Harbaugh Worries About Players Lying About Mental Health Issues to Get Eligibility Waivers

By Kevin Harrish on July 19, 2019 at 10:34 pm
Sep 3, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Shane Morris (7) warms up prior to their game against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
® Jeff Swinger | USAT Sports

Jim Harbaugh: "Every student-athlete should have a one-time ability to transfer and not have to sit out a year.”

Also Jim Harbaugh: "The problem I see in that is that you're going to have guys that are, 'OK, yeah, I'm depressed.'"

Yes, a few hours after giving an extremely progressive, player's-first answer to the transfer issue at the podium of Big Ten media days, Harbaugh was on the radio suggesting that players could fake depression in order to receive eligibility waivers.

More amazingly, he expressed those concerns in an answer to a question about his one-time transfer suggestion.

Here's what Harbaugh said, as transcribed by Nick Baumgardner:

"And the other piece that bothers me about it is, the youngster that says 'this is a mental health issue, I'm suffering from depression.' Or that's a reason to get eligible. And once that's known that 'hey, say this or say that' to get eligible. The problem I see in that is that you're going to have guys that are, 'OK, yeah, I'm depressed. I have mental (health issues). They're going to say what they've got to say. But then down the road, I don't see that helping them if that's not a legitimate thing and nobody would know."

You can read the full comments here, and to be fair, Harbaugh did seem more concerned that players would feel the need to lie in order to receive eligibility, which would be solved by his proposed one-time transfer suggestion.

But it was certainly not well received.

He obviously didn't mention any player by name, but Chad Brendel of 247Sports points out that Harbaugh's comments "were pretty clearly directed" at former Michigan player James Hudson, who transferred from Michigan in December.

Brendel writes that Hudson had his eligibility waiver denied "in part due to a lack of cooperation from the Michigan head coach and their athletic administration."

His mother backs that up.

Meanwhile, Ryan Day announced The Ryan and Christina Day Fund for Pediatric and Adolescent Mental Wellness at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and pledged $100,000 of his own to the cause.

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