ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Jim Harbaugh and the NCAA have butted heads on a variety of issues since he became the head coach of the Michigan football team.
Once again, it looks like the NCAA has thwarted a brilliant Harbaugh move.
"Head football coach Michael Johnson has resigned and is taking a position on staff at the University of Michigan," TKA Athletics tweeted. "Good luck coach!! #GoBlue."
Head football coach Michael Johnson has resigned and is taking a position on staff at the University of Michigan. Good luck coach!! #GoBlue— TKA Athletics (@TKA_Athletics) February 13, 2017
Johnson, who spent 10 seasons coaching in the NFL, is the father of the No. 1 rated dual threat quarterback in the 2019 recruiting class, according to 247 Sports. The four-star prospect is one of the top players in the state of California and an elite overall recruit in the country.
The university and Harbaugh hadn't made the announcement official, but with the NCAA expected to pass a proposal in April to allow teams to hire a 10th assistant coach, it appeared Johnson would be the new member of Michigan's staff.
Meanwhile, Harbaugh's apparent move sparked anger around the college football world, primarily in SEC country, where analyst Paul Finebaum called Michigan's head coach a cheater for hiring a recruit's father.
Even if Michigan had hired Johnson, his experience coaching quarterbacks with the San Diego Chargers, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers is more than enough qualification to justify his addition to the staff.
But Finebaum blasted Harbaugh and Michigan, as he has several times in the past, for the move. On Thursday night, Harbaugh responded.
"Pete Finebaum, the unabashed SEC water carrier, really needs to get his facts straight. #AlternativeFacts," Harbaugh tweeted at 9:34 p.m.
Pete Finebaum, the unabashed SEC water carrier, really needs to get his facts straight. #AlternativeFacts— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 17, 2017
Harbaugh's claims came to fruition on Friday, when the NCAA announced an amendment to their proposal, pushing the addition of another assistant coaching position to January. The amendment likely eliminated the position Michigan had in mind for Johnson, putting the operation at risk.
Shortly afterward, it was announced Friday that Johnson is accepting a position as Oregon's wide receiver's coach under Harbaugh disciple Willie Taggart. Taggart, who coached running backs under Harbaugh at Stanford, is entering his first season as Oregon's head coach after being hired from South Florida.
The NCAA has shut down several of Harbaugh's innovative ideas, including satellite camp tours and spring practices in Florida. But there's a pattern developing in this battle: Harbaugh always comes up with something new.