Jim Harbaugh has made plenty of headlines over the course of the college football season. Referencing General Patton earlier in the season, he set the tone for what was to come. The Ted Lasso wannabe made it sound like this might finally be the year Michigan beats Ohio State and then they went and did it, en route to the College Football Playoff. Finally, Harbaugh was making headlines for all the right reasons.

Harbaugh, who took a 10 percent pay cut before the season as the school dealt with the pandemic economy, also made waves when he announced he was donating all bonus money earned this season to other Michigan employees who had their pay cut. Considering all the wins, the Big Ten title, and the CFP appearance, Harbaugh’s bonuses could reach $3 million before the season is done.

Not bad for a guy who many thought could have been on the hot seat coming into the season.

Harbaugh was asked recently how he felt about the pay cut taken before the season, given all the success he’s had on the field, and he doesn’t seem too bothered by it.

“I reacted [like it was] no big deal, attacking each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind, as always,” Harbaugh also said of the pay cut. “It didn’t really mean anything to me. It’s just money. Big deal.”

“You asked me before about [money]. I’d do it for free,” he said. “I would do this job for free. I just love it.”

It’s a noble answer for the coach, who could certainly demand a higher salary given the 12-1 season he’s had. Of course, Harbaugh also makes a base salary of $605,000 before bonuses and has been making millions as a college football and NFL coach for years, so it’s also a bit easier for him to say that than many other people. Harbaugh could literally work for free for the next 10 years and he’d probably still be fine. It’s a luxury most people don’t have.

The reaction to Harbaugh’s sentiments seems to go one way or another, based on how you feel about his overall economic situation.

Harbaugh should be applauded for the bonus money he’s giving away to those who need it more than he does, though you can also make a case that the university has a responsibility to do that as well. Still, Michigan fans have to be pretty happy with their guy and the way he conducts himself. And if he leads the Wolverines to win over Georgia this weekend, well, he can pretty much say whatever he wants.

[Ralph Russo, On3]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.