Minnesota Vikings stakeholder with Michigan ties trying to block hiring of Jim Harbaugh

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is interviewing with the Minnesota Vikings today and according to multiple reports, he is expected to take the job if it is offered to him.

But, according to John U. Bacon, the interview is not just a formality, as some have said.

In fact, Michigan insider Sam Webb reported on Wednesday that a “minority stakeholder” in the Vikings organization, with “strong ties” to Michigan, is trying to block the Vikings from hiring Harbaugh.

“There is a minority stakeholder in the Vikings with strong Michigan ties who has been adamant in expressing the view that one of the other candidates would be a better choice.” -Sam Webb

Though Webb did not mention that minority stakeholder by name, Bacon has revealed that it is Michigan alumnus, Jim Stapleton who is trying to keep Harbaugh away from the Vikings.

From John U. Bacon:

Webb doesn’t name him, and didn’t tell me, but my sources have confirmed what I already suspected from circumstantial evidence: U-M alumnus and former EMU trustee Jim Stapleton, who’s been a Vikings minority owner since 2005.

As I reported in Three and Out, after Stapleton had been accused of sabotaging U-M coach Rich Rodriguez he wrote a 4-page letter refuting the charges, but still had his sideline pass revoked. He is now one of Harbaugh’s critics, hoping to persuade the Wilfs to reject him.

However, Harbaugh has the best possible ally in his corner: Viking GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who had worked with Harbaugh in San Francisco. Thus, today will boil down to a simple contest: will the Wilfs believe 49ers owner Jed York and Viking minority owner Jim Stapleton, or their own general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah? And that may come down to how Harbaugh performs in today’s day-long interview. 

That’s why, as Webb reports, “Sources in Ann Arbor had Harbaugh prepping [for the interview] much of the day Monday with quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss.” That is not a man who thinks today’s interview is a done deal. Harbaugh knows better.

Stay tuned…


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