Report: NFL may not be safe harbor for Jim Harbaugh if he is suspended at Michigan

Report: NFL may not be safe harbor for Jim Harbaugh if he is suspended at Michigan.

NFL may not be safe harbor for Jim Harbaugh if he is suspended at Michigan

According to a report from Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of, NFL sources indicate that Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh‘s return to the league may not provide him a “safe harbor” to avoid potential NCAA discipline. This raises the real possibility that Harbaugh might have to serve part or all of a suspension imposed by the NCAA, should he choose to return to the NFL.

Jim Harbaugh Michigan vs. Ohio State Blake Corum Michigan Football Fall Camp Jim Harbaugh Will Leave Michigan NFL may not be safe harbor for Jim Harbaugh

Why it Matters

Amidst the chaos that has engulfed Michigan football, speculation is once again rife regarding the possible return of head coach Jim Harbaugh to the NFL. However, this scenario isn't as clear-cut as it may seem. According to NFL insiders, the league is unlikely to shield Harbaugh from potential NCAA disciplinary actions. This means that Harbaugh could still be subjected to a suspension if he decides to make a return to the professional football scene.

To understand how the NFL and its teams might approach such a situation, experts point to a past precedent involving former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel. Tressel's case sheds light on how the NFL could handle a college suspension for Harbaugh


“Tressel — who also was suspended five games by Ohio State, but ultimately resigned as Buckeyes coach amidst the scandal — had taken a game-day consultant job with the Colts, and the NFL's decision on Pryor raised questions. As is often the case with coaches, the league allowed the team to handle the case, and the Colts announced Tressel wouldn't be with the club until Week 7 of the 2011 season.”

TL;DR (too long didn't read)

  1. NFL sources suggest that Jim Harbaugh's return to the NFL might not be an easy escape from potential NCAA discipline.
  2. If Harbaugh rejoins the NFL, he could still face NCAA suspension for alleged recruiting violations.
  3. The case of Jim Tressel serves as a precedent for how the NFL and its teams could handle a college suspension.
Michigan's offensive coordinator Jim Harbaugh in heavy discussions with NFL team Jim Harbaugh comments on rumor about a new contract

Bottom Line – Navigating Uncertain Waters

Jim Harbaugh's potential return to the NFL isn't a straightforward path to evade NCAA discipline. The league might not be a safe harbor from the consequences of his actions during his tenure at Michigan. As the rumors continue to swirl, it's clear that navigating these uncertain waters will be a challenging task for both Harbaugh and any NFL team that might consider hiring him. The interplay between college and professional football regulations adds a layer of complexity to this developing story, leaving many questions unanswered.