“We’re All Robbing the Same Train” – Jim Harbaugh Has Vision To Increase NIL

    Jim Harbaugh has an elaborate plan for college football players to benefit from profit sharing. Find out what the Michigan head coach told the media.

    Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has laid out his vision for the future of college football that sees players gain more from NIL. Speaking on Media Day before the National Championship Game against Washington, Harbaugh shared what those in power can do to benefit players.

    Harbaugh has been outspoken all year, advocating for more money for his players. Never one to shy away from sharing his opinion, this is what he had to say.

    Jim Harbaugh’s Thoughts On NIL

    Speaking bluntly on how college football can better benefit the players, Harbaugh shared an old saying.

    “My dad’s used it, my brother’s used it — like, hey, we’re all robbing the same train here.”

    Questions rolled in on National Championship Media Day, and Harbaugh surprisingly spoke further on how he would change college football for the better. He has often in 2023 expressed his opinion on players sharing in the profits, but this is the furthest he has gone in explaining his view.

    Harbaugh vision starts with the players at the heart of it and criticizes those who benefit from college football without thinking of the fans. “Like coaches, administrators, media, television stations, conferences, NCAA. And the ones that are really robbing the train,” Harbaugh continues.

    People will turn to the introduction of NIL as a catalyst for change, but the Michigan head coach doesn’t feel it goes far enough. “ It’s one thing for somebody to say, well, they’re getting NIL,” Harbaugh spoke. “But, heh, the billions that are being generated they’re getting, they’re not getting much of, a very small percentage.”

    And Harbaugh is right. It is players that fans enter stadiums or turn on the TV to see.

    “People come to watch the players,” Harbaugh said. “They really don’t come to watch the coaches,” Harbaugh went on. “They don’t come to watch the administrators. They come to watch the players. And in a world where the revenue is ever growing, the student-athletes being able to participate in that ever-growing revenue, who could argue against them?”

    In Harbaugh’s mind, something needs to be done. He continued saying, “They’re getting the same amount as I got in the ’80s. You’re getting a scholarship, room, board, books, and tuition. So it’s like, come on, man, let’s do the right thing here.”

    The Vision For Revenue-Sharing

    It is something Harbaugh is clearly passionate about and has given some thought to. While he said that he didn’t know how to best structure the compensation for student-athletes, he did offer a potential solution.

    “Anyone who is profiting from the student-athletes right now, myself included, coaches, somewhere between 5 and 10 percent, take 5 to 10 percent less,” Harbaugh said.

    The thought process continued with him repeating, “That would go for any administrator, any coach, any conference, any university, NCAA — 5 to 10 percent less and maybe a 10 percent tax from the television station more, into one pot for the student-athletes. Maybe that’s a start, away.”

    Harbaugh’s monologue in front of the media was just the next installment of him speaking out in favor of players earning more.

    During a press conference in August 2023, he called for athletes to be included in revenue sharing saying, “What I don’t understand is how the NCAA, television networks, conferences, universities, and coaches can continue to pull in millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars in revenue off the efforts of college student-athletes across the country without providing enough opportunity to share in the ever-increasing revenues.”

    He doubled down in November 2023 when he again commented on potential profit sharing for players. “Who could be against the players being compensated for what they do? At least even minimum wage. Who could argue against that?”

    Why Has Harbaugh Spoken Out Now?

    But why now? The 2023 season has seen Harbaugh be more open and outspoken than ever, with many speculating that the Michigan head coach may feel he has the freedom to speak having made up his mind on his future.

    If Harbaugh has made his decision, then he may be speaking out knowing he won’t be around to deal with the consequences of his supposed plan.

    MORE: Michigan Wolverines Playoff History

    With an NCAA investigation hanging over his head, Harbaugh is expected to explore his options and is one of the top candidates available for open NFL head coach positions. In December 2023, it was reported that the Los Angeles Chargers had significant interest in hiring Harbaugh after they fired Brandon Staley.

    Having coached in the NFL previously with the San Francisco 49ers, the rumors are certainly swirling about Harbaugh’s potential NFL return.

    This is on the back of NBC Sports reporting in December that Harbaugh hired NFL super agent Don Yee, who also represents Sean Payton and previously Michigan Alumnus Tom Brady. Michigan has reportedly offered Harbaugh a mega $55 million contract extension in the hope of keeping him in Ann Arbor. However, it hasn’t stopped Harbaugh from appearing to explore his options.

    While speaking to the media before the National Championship Game, Harbaugh was questioned about his future. “there’s a calendar,” he said. “I’ll gladly talk about the future next week. And I hope to have one, how about that? A future, I hope to have one, yes. Thank you.”

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