Jim Harbaugh is one of the most fun coaches in college football today. He’s been successful at Stanford and colorful at Michigan. He might even be a little weird. Maybe Michigan will beat Ohio State someday. That’s a discussion for another place and time.
The Big 10 is holding its annual media day before football season and you can bet that Harbaugh had a lot to say. He started out his press conference without an opening statement like other coaches. He went right into answering questions from the media.
As you’d expect, the questions quickly turned to sports gambling now that it’s being legalized around the country. Harbaugh may not be a fan.
.@UMichFootball coach Jim Harbaugh had quite the stance on sports betting at his presser: “Don’t gamble. Don’t associate with gamblers. Avoid it like the plague. Don’t walk away from that, run.”
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkesESPN) July 23, 2018
It isn’t a surprise that Harbaugh was direct and blunt about his feelings towards gambling. He’s usually either very straightforward in press conferences or totally avoids the questions. The comments above appear as though they’re how the coach personally feels. The comments are also being directed towards football players at Michigan. To be honest, it’s pretty good advice.
The rest of the media day for Jim Harbaugh was fairly by the numbers. The one standout comment is that he’d like to see the college football playoff expand. Jim Harbaugh says he would like to see the playoff expand to eight and then again to 16 teams.
How much fun would a 16 team NCAA football playoff be to bet on?
Big 10 Commish discusses player availability
Gambling was on top of the mind of Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. He was the first to speak at Big 10 media day and brought up the topic of the teams providing a weekly player availability report. Delany seems to understand that gambling on college football isn’t new. ESPN noted that “Delany said that other than home field, personnel availability has the biggest impact on gambling ‘legally or illegally.’” You don’t find too many people in a position of power in sports addressing illegal gambling so directly.
A couple of the Big 10 coaches had different thoughts on the player availability reports. Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck is on board given they don’t violate any student privacy laws. He’d like to see who’s not playing on the other team for their games. On the other hand, Scott Frost from Nebraska said he will only participate if he’s forced to.