Jim Harbaugh blasts Purdue for poor facilities, 'egregious' hit that hurt Wilton Speight
Michigan beats Purdue 28-10 in West Lafayette
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Michigan football team came out of West Lafayette this weekend with a win over Purdue, but that doesn't mean Jim Harbaugh was pleased with the overall experience.
Saturday was Michigan's first trip to Purdue since Harbaugh took over for the 2015 season, and he wasn't impressed with the Ross-Ade Stadium facilities.
'Hotbox' locker room
Harbaugh said there was no air conditioning in the visitors locker room, so he put his starters on the team bus to cool down before the game. Temperatures were around 100 degrees on the field at kickoff.
Harbaugh said the locker room was cramped, hot and only had two urinals without a private door.
"It was like a hotbox," Harbaugh said.
He voiced his displeasure with the facilities during a press conference Monday, saying he thinks the problem needs to be addressed by the Big Ten.
"Mainly for the health and safety of the players," Harbaugh said. "This needs to be addressed by the league. This needs to be addressed by the commissioner."
No X-ray available for Wilton Speight
That wasn't the only beef Harbaugh had with the way things were run by the Boilermakers.
Harbaugh was furious that quarterback Wilton Speight was forced to be taken to an off-campus medical facility to get an X-ray after leaving the game with an injury.
Harbaugh said there was not way to get an X-ray on-site.
"There has to be a minimum standard of care for the players," Harbaugh said.
In today's football landscape, which has a much stronger focus on player safety, Harbaugh expects at least the minimum medical services to be available so an injured player can be treated on-site.
Purdue responds to complaints
UPDATE: Purdue released a response to Harbaugh's complaints. Here is the full statement:
Purdue's response to Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh saying they have inadequate visitor's facilities. (Click to enlarge.) pic.twitter.com/jZph90B1oE— Lori Schmidt (@LoriSchmidt) September 25, 2017
Harbaugh calls hit that injured Speight 'egregious'
In addition to the off-field concerns, Harbaugh wasn't happy with the hit that knocked Speight out of the game in the first quarter.
Less than 10 minutes into the game, Speight was sacked by a blitzing linebacker who flew untouched into the backfield. As Speight was on the ground, sitting upright after being sacked, a defensive lineman came in late and jumped on his neck and shoulders.
ICYMI: Michigan QB Wilton Speight left the game in the first quarter after this play. pic.twitter.com/70ovBJyXHe
— Michigan On BTN (@MichiganOnBTN) September 23, 2017
The hit left Speight lying on the ground for several minutes before medical staff members walked him off the field.
"I thought it was egregious," Harbaugh said. "If I had a stronger word, I'd use it."
Speight was initially sacked by Markus Bailey, but the late hit was delivered by Eddy Wilson, who wasn't flagged on the play.
Harbaugh said Speight has a "soft tissue" injury, and it's unclear how long he will be out.
Purdue players ejected for targeting
While the hit on Speight didn't draw a flag from officials, two Purdue defensive players were ejected later in the game for targeting penalties.
The first player was Jacob Thieneman, who launched head-first into Nick Eubanks on a long pass attempt down the middle. Thieneman was ejected, and Eubanks did not return to the game due to inury.
Ja'Whaun Bentley was thrown out on the very next drive for launching into quarterback John O'Korn. Bentley and another teammate sandwiched O'Korn after he released a pass that was caught by Zach Gentry at the 6-yard line.
The penalty only cost Purdue 3 yards, but Bentley missed the rest of the game and will be out for the first half of Purdue's game against Minnesota.
Jeff Brohm complains about officiating
Harbaugh wasn't the only coach unhappy after the game, as first-year Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm expressed his dissatisfaction with the officiating.
Brohm said Purdue couldn't get any calls against the Wolverines, saying, "We're Purdue."
Before the game, Purdue wide receiver Gregory Phillips told ESPN, "It's going to be a surprise when people see us beat Michigan."
Phillips said he wishes Ohio State was on Purdue's schedule so they could beat them too.
Phillips finished the game without a catch against Michigan.
Brohm has clearly changed the culture at Purdue, as the Boilermakers are playing better football and clearly have more confidence. But in Harbaugh's mind, their facilities have some catching up to do.
Copyright 2017 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.