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Jim Harbaugh wanted to remain at Michigan but felt AD was ‘not the advocate he needed in his corner,’ per book

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Jim Harbaugh wanted to remain at Michigan following the Wolverines’ national championship run but was concerned over whether he had the support needed from athletic director Warde Manuel, according a soon-to-be published book. In “The Price: What it Takes to Win in College Football’s Era of Chaos,” authors Armen Keteyian and John Talty pulled back the curtain on Harbaugh’s thinking as he mulled the decision to leave his alma mater for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Among the revelations contained in the book, which will publish on Aug. 27, is that Harbaugh “unloaded” to a longtime confidant about the predicament he faced with the Wolverines regarding the sign-stealing scandal that tainted their 15-0 season. Harbaugh was concerned that Manuel was “not the advocate he needed in his corner,” particularly when it came to Michigan’s Board of Regents, according to an excerpt of the book published by CBS Sports.

Harbaugh also “raged against” Big Ten commissioner Tony Pettiti to friend Todd Anson during a vacation on Coronado Island. Soon after, Harbaugh interviewed with the Chargers. Ultimately, he accepted the Chargers job just over two weeks after leading the Wolverines to a 34-13 win over Washington in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Manuel told the book’s authors that “I don’t want to use the word ‘surprised'” regarding Harbaugh’s decision. Ultimately, it wasn’t the first time Harbaugh had flirted with the NFL. With the program under intense scrutiny from the NCAA, Harbaugh decided the time was right to make a move.

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