Sunday, May 20, 2018
Colleges

Teddy Greenstein: Big Ten needed a stronger response to Jim Harbaugh's rant

Big Ten officials spent Monday morning focused on something that truly matters — the safety of the Ohio State community. Hopefully reports indicating that none of the 11 victims has life-threatening injuries, though one was injured critically, will bring peace to that campus.

Then it was time for the conference to address some ugliness on a much smaller scale.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh acted like a jerk after Ohio State's 30-27 double-overtime victory Saturday, going on and on and on about the officiating.

His response — when you lose, blame the refs — was precisely what we do not teach our kids about handling defeat. The only thing as bad as a sore winner ("millions" of illegal votes, really?) is a sore loser.

Harbaugh drew an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty during the game for ranting about an offside call that was valid and then ripped the official who flagged him, insinuating that the side judge was not focused on the game. Harbaugh also insisted that J.T. Barrett came up short on the fourth-down rush that preceded Ohio State's 15-yard game-winning touchdown run.

Various analyses with frame-by-frame breakdowns have been inconclusive. Yet some fans, spurred on by Harbaugh's bluster, think Big Ten replay officials should have reversed the call, ending the game in the emptiest way possible.

I'd feel the same if Barrett had been ruled short. Replay exists to correct calls that are obviously wrong, not to flip ones that reasonable people with good eyesight find debatable.

The Big Ten chimed in Monday afternoon, acting in predictable fashion. The conference issued a public reprimand of Harbaugh for violating its sportsmanship policy and fined him $10,000.

Nebraska's Bo Pelini got dinged the same amount for ripping officials after a game in 2013, calling an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty "a chicken(bleep) call."

Pelini apologized a day after the game, before he was reprimanded. Harbaugh, as of Monday evening, had not expressed any regret. Certainly the amount he was fined — one-nine-hundredth of his 2016 salary — won't send him to confessional.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Harbaugh is a wonderful coach, an asset to the Big Ten and a hoot to cover because of his zest for competition and his unpredictable and occasionally zany answers. I picked Michigan to beat Ohio State in the Tribune, by the way.

But again, Harbaugh acted like a jerk. He still needs to learn the basics of sportsmanship, of praising your opponent and acknowledging that no game is determined by a single play.

"What's your deal?" Pete Carroll asked Harbaugh during the 2009 Stanford-USC postgame handshake after Harbaugh ran up the score on Carroll's Trojans. We're still not sure.

The officials did not lose the game for Michigan on Saturday. Were there some questionable pass-interference calls? Yup. There are in every game.

The Wolverines turned it over three times, fumbling inside the 2 and attempting a pass from their 6 that went for a pick-six. Their defense surrendered 177 yards in the fourth quarter and the two overtimes. That's why they lost.

Harbaugh's comments have spurred unfortunate stuff such as this: The Michigan Insider, a sports talk station, fired on Big Ten coordinator of officials Bill Carollo on Monday in a tweet to its 36,858 followers, with these hashtags: #FireBillCarollo #BoycottB1G Events. The station included the phone number of the league office with Carollo's extension.

A lengthier explanation from the station included fair-minded criticism of Michigan for its "failures in the game" and a slam on the Big Ten and Carollo over their choice of officials, alleging that two are "Ohio natives and known OSU fans … Why even subject yourself to this postgame scrutiny? That's why I've said #FireBillCarollo. That was negligence from the league before the game even started."

Maybe Big Ten honchos such as Carollo think it's beneath them to respond to conspiracy theories regarding their officials and where they were born.

Harbaugh, meanwhile, is one of their own.

He paid too small a price considering his noxious tone.

Comments
ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

The ACC has released some kickoff and TV information for the first three weeks of the season:Week 1 (previously announced)Miami vs. LSU (in Arlington, Texas): Sunday, Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m., ABCVirginia Tech at Florida State: Monday, Sept. 3, 8 p.m., ESP...
Published: 05/18/18
Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Old, unofficial news is expected to become old, official news today with a formal announcement that Florida State and Boise State are kicking off the 2019 season in Jacksonville.  A lot has changed since the schools announced the series (FSU pla...
Published: 05/16/18
FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

What had been an open secret for months is now open and shut: Group of Five power Boise State will face FSU at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville in the teams' 2019 opener.A formal announcement is expected Wednesday, but the '19 schedule on Boise's offi...
Published: 05/15/18
RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

TAMPA — He’s the accidental pitcher who can’t be pigeonholed into a defined role. He’s a well-spoken economics major who morphs into fire-breathing intensity on the mound. And he’s one of the biggest reasons why the University of Tampa Spartans are p...
Published: 05/15/18
Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

One of the Florida Gators' top incoming recruits was released from jail early Wednesday after police allege he kicked a female's car and broke her phone after an argument.Justin Watkins — a four-star athlete from Clermont — and ...
Published: 05/10/18
Why Gators’ Dan Mullen still name-drops his second grade teacher

Why Gators’ Dan Mullen still name-drops his second grade teacher

When first-year Gators coach Dan Mullen spoke to a packed crowd at the Tampa Yacht and Country Club this winter, he told stories about the stars Florida fans recognize instantly.Tim Tebow. Steve Spurrier. Percy Harvin.Then he name-dropped someone els...
Published: 05/10/18
Florida Gators coordinator Todd Grantham to earn $1.39 million. Here are the other salaries

Florida Gators coordinator Todd Grantham to earn $1.39 million. Here are the other salaries

New Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will be one of the highest paid assistants in the country, earning $1.39 million in base pay this year.The Gators released the contracts for Grantham and the rest of Dan Mullen's staff on Tuesday aftern...
Published: 05/08/18
Why Dan Mullen wants his Gators to hit every school in Florida

Why Dan Mullen wants his Gators to hit every school in Florida

As the Florida Gators hit the road for the spring evaluation period, coach Dan Mullen has a goal."It's really important for me that we try to get into every school in the state of Florida," Mullen said Monday before a speech to the Polk County Gator ...
Published: 05/08/18
Dan Mullen: Florida Gators not pursuing grad transfer quarterback ‘right now’

Dan Mullen: Florida Gators not pursuing grad transfer quarterback ‘right now’

LAKELAND – Despite some rumblings tying the Gators to Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow, Florida has no plans "right now" to pursue a graduate transfer at the position, first-year coach Dan Mullen said Monday evening."We're not really looking a...
Published: 05/07/18
Where do Bobby Bowden, Mike Martin rank among top coaching duos?

Where do Bobby Bowden, Mike Martin rank among top coaching duos?

Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin became the winningest coach in NCAA history over the weekend with an extra-innings victory over Clemson. His record: 1,976-708-4.Martin joins football legend Bobby Bowden as one of the Seminoles' top coaches e...
Published: 05/07/18