Ohio State coach Ryan Day made waves earlier this summer when he said OSU would need $13 million in NIL money to keep its roster intact. Jim Harbaugh thinks that’s setting the bar low.
Asked for his thoughts on Day’s comments during Big Ten Media Days on Tuesday, Harbaugh replied by saying “My thoughts were I think we can do more,” believing Michigan will ultimately be able to surpass that number in NIL deals for its football players.
“Maybe we can even double that at Michigan,” Harbaugh said. “I think that's possible. And I think it's going in a terrific direction that way.”
It’s unclear how much money Michigan players have actually made on name, image and likeness deals so far, though Ohio State reported earlier this summer that its athletes had signed more than 1,000 total NIL deals for a total of more than $3.5 million. More recently, The Foundation announced an NIL deal for C.J. Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Denzel Burke that will pay them a combined $550,000.
Harbaugh is pushing, though, for Michigan players to make as much NIL money as possible, while he believes players should already receive a share of the revenue from the Big Ten’s upcoming TV contract.
“I've always been for NIL. I believe players should have a share in the revenue. And I think that's something that's really possible at Michigan,” Harbaugh said. “So I think that's where we're headed.”
The $13 million remark wasn’t the only Day-related comment Harbaugh was asked about on Tuesday. When Harbaugh was asked if his own comment after Michigan’s win over Ohio State last November, when Harbaugh said “sometimes people that are standing on third base think they hit a triple, but they didn’t,” was about Day, Harbaugh kept his response succinct.
“I have no comment about that at this time,” Harbaugh said, smiling as he walked away from the podium.
Harbaugh did say Day was “cordial” to him at last year’s Heisman Trophy ceremony and described their relationship with each other as “professional.”
“But when we're playing each other, he’s doing everything he can to have his team win, I'm doing everything I can to have my team win,” Harbaugh said. “Competitive.”