Weird Moments in Big Ten Football History #10: Hart vs. Harbaugh at Media Days

FanHouse is counting down the ten best, ten worst, and ten weirdest moments in Big Ten football history.

In honor of the opening of Big Ten Media Days in Chicago, we wrap up the ten weird Big Ten moments with a look at what has to be the only moment of excitement or interest in the history of that venerable tradition. It came last season, when Mike Hart was chosen as one of the players to represent the Michigan Wolverines to the media.

You might remember that last spring, former Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh, who had just taken over at Stanford, commented in an interview that Michigan had a way of getting "borderline guys" into school. (For those of you not aware, Michigan is a very selective university. For those of you who are SEC fans, some universities have admissions standards.) Harbaugh was commenting about how Stanford (another highly selective school) had trouble attracting the very best athletes because a Stanford recruit needs qualifications beyond a good 40 time.

In context it's clear that Harbaugh was lamenting how great universities don't do their athletes any favors with the "jock majors" you find on almost every campus. It didn't really come across that way, however, and trust me, Mike Hart noticed.

Hart unloaded on Harbaugh:

"That's a guy I have no respect for. When you graduate from the
University of Michigan and you're going to talk about your school like
that, a great institution like that we have, to say we're not true
student athletes. It's coming from a guy who, I don't know, maybe
wants to coach here, and is mad he didn't get a job here. A guy like
that I have no respect for. It's funny to me, because we don't let
great student-athletes in, but he just accepted one of our transfers.
What kind of sense does that make? He obviously wants guys like us at
his school and he's mad he can't get them. It's nothing against
Stanford. I just have no respect for that guy. I don't know how you
can say that. He's not a Michigan man. I obviously wish he never
played here before."

Ouch. Hart was obviously upset at Harbaugh's implication that a football player's degree from Michigan wasn't a real Michigan degree. Harbaugh wasn't totally wrong about the value of the education some student athletes get (or don't get) but it was strange to see a person turn against his alma mater like that--and Harbaugh should've known that there are plenty of athletes at every school who actually are there for the education.

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