Jim Harbaugh Says His Urban Meyer Comment Was “Nothing New,” Not A “Bombshell”

By Colin Hass-Hill on July 19, 2019 at 5:15 pm
Jim Harbaugh

CHICAGO – Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh had a chance to clarify the comments he made about former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer on Tim Kawakami’s podcast on The Athletic, and he doubled down on Friday.

Speaking with Kawakami, Harbaugh said Meyer had a “really phenomenal record everywhere he's been.” He followed up by saying “controversy follows everywhere he's been,” clearly referencing the end of his tenures at Florida and Ohio State.

Since the podcast was released on Thursday, Harbaugh had a chance to explain his comments at Michigan's portion of Big Ten media days on Friday. However, he said he saw no reason to do that.

“I don't see any – no context you should know about,” Harbaugh said at a press conference Friday morning. “I don't think it was anything that was anything new or anything of a bombshell. It's things that many of you all understand and have written about.”

“(It was) my opinion. I’m not into making animal analogies, so the ‘poking the bear’ thing doesn’t resonate with me. There’s really nothing more to it.”– Jim Harbaugh on his Urban Meyer comment

A few hours later, Harbaugh was again asked about the Meyer comment and how it affects the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, and he gave a similar answer.

“I didn't think it was anything new,” Harbaugh said. “I didn't think it was a bombshell. All things that have been written about are very well documented.”

Meyer announced his retirement on Dec. 4 with a 7-0 record as Ohio State’s coach against Michigan and a 4-0 record versus Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines. When Harbaugh gets his fifth chance against the Buckeyes, he'll face a Ryan Day-led team.

Harbaugh denied the idea that he was “poking the bear.”

“(It was) my opinion,” Harbaugh said. “I’m not into making animal analogies, so the ‘poking the bear’ thing doesn’t resonate with me. There’s really nothing more to it.”

Nikki Meyer, Urban Meyer's daughter, responded to Harbaugh's initial comment on Kawakami's podcast by questioning if Harbaugh was deflecting from his 0-4 record versus Meyer.

Cleveland.com's Doug Lesmerises read her tweet to Harbaugh, who responded by saying, "It was me saying what I think." Harbaugh saw no reason why the Meyer comment should sound any different coming from a Michigan coach versus anybody else.

“I don’t see why people are so afraid to say what they think,” Harbaugh said. “Maybe that’s something that is worthy to be examined.”

Harbaugh won't have another opportunity to face Meyer and the Buckeyes, but he'll take his shot at Day's team in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Nov. 30. He's still searching for his first win in the rivalry game.

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