Alabama Football: Will Harbaugh distractions affect the Wolverines?

There is much going on for Jim Harbaugh, and not all of it is the task of facing Alabama Football in the Rose Bowl.

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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There is much on Jim Harbaugh's plate. If possible, all of his attention needs to be focused on the Rose Bowl Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Instead Harbaugh may be having to multi-task at a critical time for his college coaching career and for the Michigan football program.

New for the Harbaugh agenda this week was news that Michigan had received a Notice of Allegations from the NCCA related to alleged 2020 recruiting violations by Harbaugh. The NCAA has defined the alleged violations as a Level 1 infraction. Level 1 is as serious as NCAA penalties go. Harbaugh already served a three-game suspension, imposed by the University of Michigan, as an attempt to limit future NCAA punishment.

Harbaugh's 'other' suspension, tied to stealing of opponent's signs has received most media attention. Combined, the two separate issues resulted in Harbaugh being suspended for six Michigan games this season.

Apparently what might have been deemed a less serious recruiting violation was made worse by, as reported by The Sporting News, that Harbaugh "wasn't completely honest" when questioned by the NCAA.

The University of Michigan is not letting potential future penalties deter them from a contract extension for Harbaugh. According to GBMWolverine Harbaugh may be close to signing a contract extension for five years and $55M. A portion of the proposed extension includes a guarantee that "Harbaugh will not entertain NFL offers in the 2024 offseason."

Bleacher Report's Jordan Schultz reported the Chargers are interested in hiring Harbaugh. A more recent report claims the Las Vegas Raiders are also interested in Harbaugh. Prior to coaching Michigan, Harbaugh led the NFL 49ers to the Super Bowl.

Michigan and Harbaugh vs. Alabama Football

Jim Harbaugh can let agents and lawyers contend with these distractions while he applies tunnel vision to preparing Michigan for the Rose Bowl. But the issues must still clutter his mind somewhat. What effect, if any, Harbaugh's situation will have on Michigan players is not known. The Michigan coaching staff and the entire Michigan team may be motivated to rally around the 'somewhat beleaguered' coach.

Some in the Michigan program have suggested the Wolverines have become 'America's Team' by overcoming the adversity of Harbaugh's suspensions. In opposition to such thinking, others have painted Alabama Football in a potential hero role if the Crimson Tide beats Michigan.

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