Michigan's Jim Harbaugh disappointed with Big Ten decision to put college football on hold

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Michigan Wolverines football coach Jim Harbaugh expressed his disappointment with the Big Ten for postponing the college football season due to the coronavirus on Tuesday.

Harbaugh was an advocate for playing in the fall despite the ongoing spread of the disease. He released a statement on the conference’s decision.

“Our student-athletes and coaches want to compete,” Harbaugh said. “They have committed, trained and prepared their entire lives for this opportunity, and I know how much they’re disappointed at this time. I share in their disappointment today.

“We have shown over the weeks since returning to campus that we could meet the challenge and provide our student-athletes the opportunity of a fall football season.

“Our football team, our coaching staff, our support staff in Schembechler Hall have all stepped up, followed every rule and done everything in their power magnificently to give all the opportunity to compete. I am extremely proud, thankful and appreciative of our team and how they have conducted and represented our program and university.”

Earlier in the week, Harbaugh had advocated for the team to play this season.

“I would like to address the rumors that are swirling today. I’m not advocating for football this fall because of my passion or our players (sic) desire to play but because of the facts accumulated over the last eight weeks since our players returned to campus on June 13. I am advocating on August 10 that the virus can be controlled and handled because of these facts,” the statement read.

Harbaugh said the football program had 11 positive coronavirus tests in 893 administered tests, two positive tests in 417 administered tests, and zero positive tests out of 353 administered tests. He said there have been zero pauses in training and that the school is complying with CDC health guidelines.

“This isn’t easy. This is hard,” the statement continued.

“It is proved that the conduct, discipline, and structure within our program have led to these stellar results. We respect the challenge that the virus has presented however we will not cower from it.

“We have developed a great prototype for how we can make this work and provide the opportunity for players to play. If you are transparent and follow the rules, this is how it can be done.

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“I am forever proud of our players, parents, coaches, and staff for being leaders and role models in our sport, at our institution and in society. We will continue to follow all health and safety guidelines, teach, train and coach those young men and their families that have put their trust in us, while advocating for a football season in the fall.”

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