Michigan rescinds offer to Harbaugh over sign-stealing

The WSJ is reporting that Michigan has rescinded a contract extension offer to Jim Harbaugh that would have made him the highest paid coach in the Big Ten, because of the sign-stealing incidents.

What this means for Harbaugh’s future with the Wolverines is unclear.

Would it be possible that Michigan lets Harbaugh go and goes after Fitz?


Michigan could have almost anybody they wanted. Well, probably not Swinney, Saban or Meyer (not that they’d probably want them.)

Fitz is damaged goods right now, both because the hazing stuff and because he won 4 games in his last 2 seasons at Northwestern. I don’t think he has the ruthless nature it will take to succeed in the NIL/portal era. I’d be surprised if he ever has a power 5/4 head coaching position again.

And I’d be surprised if Michigan cuts Harbaugh loose, especially if he wins a NC this season.

Refresh my memory, is Harbaugh in the final year of a contract? or is this a way to tie him up for a few more years. There was a time when colleges rewarded the HC for a good season by extending their contract for more money, even though their present contract wasn’t up just yet. I think we may have done that with Fitz and BC once.

(I am soo out of the loop these days)

Go B1GCats



Fitz is done with college football. Why deal with idiot presidents who can fire you on a whim? Whether one thinks he is ‘damaged goods’ is a matter of considered opinion. Personally, I predict he will win a lot of money from Northwestern in his lawsuit.

Here’s a hot take re Jim Harbaugh (mine):

He leaves Michigan after this year. He goes to the Bears, who need a coach. The Bears have high draft picks. They take Caleb Williams. Bring on the fun.

According to the WSJ story, Harbaugh got a new contract a year ago, what was rescinded was an extention to that new contract that would have made him the highest paid coach in the Big Ten.

I think you may be right that Fitz gets a big settlement from NU. Whether that’s enough for him to pursue non-football activities or just retire is a separate matter, money goes really fast when you’re used to spending it lavishly, which most coaches are. I don’t know if he still has the fire for coaching.

As to the Bears and Harbaugh, I don’t see that happening. I think Harbaugh is too smart to be sucked into the Bears morass. I’m still surprised Kevin Warren was.

Well Warren must of had some relationship with Harbaugh when he was Commish. And as a side note Bear fans may remember Mike Mcaskey overriding the Bear brass (Jim Finks?) and drafting him out of Michigan. So there is some interesting history there

As to Fitz being done with the college ranks , may be and may be not. Only time will tell


After another Bears dismal performance tonight, it looks like they’re back in the hunt for the top 2 draft choices next year. Fields has been a bust, and I’m not excited about their coaching staff, either.

But until someone fixes the front office, which means fixing the ownership, the Bears will be a team I follow with Dante’s admonition: All hope abandon ye who enter here.

I think he may be done with college coaching, too. Even if he would be interested, I always thought he believed in the NU athletic/academic mission. That’s not easy to find at other college jobs.

I also agree with Alan that Fitz will cost NU and Schill tens of millions, which is why I think (full transparency - I also hope) Schill will eventually be cut loose. What an incompetent display of crisis management.


Thanks Mike, that’s what I thought…

If he still has a year or two to go on his last contract, he certainly can pick and choose what he wants to do. He wins a National Title and he certainly will be rewarded by the Blue and Gold.

Go B1GCats


Fitz wins his lawsuit,

and goes on to found some kind of Sports Foundation that deals with improving Academics in sports, possibly at the Secondary School level.

You also might wonder if he would accept a High School position at one of the parochial schools in suburban Chicago. Might be a chance for vindication and with all that NU money, he wouldn’t have to take a salary.

In any case, he’s going to have to make sure he has enough money set aside for his kids to go on to college. “Daddyships” are expensive.

Go B1GCats


Tank takes on the Sign Stealing bit…





As an FYI, Fitz is currently helping out at Loyola Academy in Wilmette. I’m sure a few extra kids have signed up to play football knowing they have a near local legend as an unofficial member of the staff So yes that could be a nice off ramp for Fitz


As a long-time reader of MAD, I loved it!

Mike Nolan

Bob Clarke -one of the artists who worked on Spy vs Spy used to belong to our Legion Post here in Seaford, DE.

Sat in the bar with his wife all afternoon and drank Manhattans… he drew caricatures of people at the bar, and they are prized possessions among those he drew.

Never got to know him 'cause I wasn’t hanging out at the Legion every afternoon. Wish I had.

Go B1GCats


I’m with Shawn (and Alan) on this one.

I’ve been reluctant to comment on the Cat’s season because of my hope that college football will eventually collapse under its own weight of corruption and hypocrisy.

But as far as Fitz is concerned, I agree that NU is likely to settle and Fitz will walk away with a lot of money. That’s in part because NU does NOT want the internal investigation report made public. If Fitz and his lawyer are to be believed, that report details many if not all of the salacious details later printed in The Daily. If that’s true, it lays bear the cowardly act by Schill and Gragg to fire him rather than defend their earlier decision to just suspend him.

As I’ve thought about it more, it is certainly possible that Fitz was aware of OTHER stuff involving the NU administration and the suspension deal reflected an agreement that Fitz would take the blame but not spill the beans. We’ll see if this gets to trial and what comes out.

IAC, Fitz hopefully has been wise with his money and doesn’t need to work again in order to lead a comfortable life. He has said that he was looking forward to coaching his kids. Jack is on the NU roster, but not playing. He’s listed as a student assistant. Pat’s other two sons are playing for Loyola where Pat is volunteering.

I’m not sure that he could make the jump to the NFL as a head coach. Harbaugh made the jump to the 49’ers in part because he had a good local rep from his short stint at Stanford, had a good relationship with the owners, and was viewed as an innovative offensive-minded guy. Fitz comes from the Joe Pa mold. His innovation was that the was committed to coach at NU rather than make the jump to better paying jobs. As far as coaching at another school, I think that would be difficult for him unless it was someplace like Michigan. If Harbaugh leaves on his own, Fitz might get a look. If Michigan fires Harbaugh for some infraction, they are not going to hire another guy who still has a cloud over his head. In other words, Fitz is going to need some vindication, or at least settlement, before he will be considered a good candidate for a top tier college HC position.

BTW, here’s a quick thumbnail estimate of what Pat might walk away with. He is suing for $130M. Let’s assume that they settle for $100M for easy math. Dan Webb gets $30M. The feds will take another $37M. State of Illinois will take another $5M. That leaves him with $28M. If he has good financial advisors, he should be able to make at least 6% a year which means $1.68M/year for the rest of his life. So I don’t feel particularly bad for him, but that is a significant cut from the $5.65M NU was paying him plus whatever other money he was making on the side.


I think Fitz has an agent, who will get a cut, and possibly a business manager, who might also get a cut.

Part of the settlement could include free tuition at NU for his kids, as if he was still on the payroll. But would they want to go there?

i think Warren was desparate to get back to the NFL and the Bears were his first and perhaps only suitor.

Is he still considered the likely successor to Roger Goodell as NFL Commissioner?

Goodell’s contract was recently extended to 2027, which would be his 21st season as commissioner. He’d be 68 then. In politics, that’d make him a spring chicken.