Amid praise for Urban Meyer, Michigan's Jim Harbaugh throws a barb, too

Joey Kaufman
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer shake hands after the Buckeyes defeated the Wolverines in Ann Arbor in 2015. [Dispatch file photo]

CHICAGO — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is not scheduled to speak at Big Ten football media days until Friday.

But Harbaugh made headlines a day ahead of schedule.

In a podcast with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami published on Thursday, Harbaugh took a shot at his former rival, Urban Meyer, who retired as Ohio State’s coach after last season.

“Urban Meyer’s had a winning record, really a phenomenal record everywhere he’s been,” Harbaugh said. “Also, controversy follows everywhere he’s been.”

Harbaugh did not expound on particular instances, but his reference wasn’t difficult to decipher.

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During his final season at the helm of the Buckeyes, Meyer was suspended by the university for the first three games due to his mishandling of domestic violence allegations against former  receivers coach Zach Smith. In the weeks before preseason training camp, Smith had been fired.

Toward the end of his coaching tenure at Florida before heading to Columbus, Meyer had also faced criticism for a string of player arrests.

Harbaugh, who returned to his alma mater in 2015, has yet to defeat Ohio State in four tries, all of them with Meyer on the opposite sideline, including a 62-39 trouncing last November.

Meyer's career record as a head coach was 187-32, finishing with a winning percentage of .854 that ranks third all-time behind only Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy.

With the Buckeyes, Meyer went 83-9, winning the first College Football Playoff, and 7-0 against Michigan.


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