Jim Harbaugh Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh walks off the field after the Wolverines lost, 34-11, to Georgia at the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021.

The Michigan Wolverines will not pay for players, according to Jim Harbaugh.

Harbaugh stopped by the Jed Hughes Podcast recently and discussed name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights and how he sees them as a positive in college football and other sports. He referred to the opportunities that these kinds of deals create as “a transformational experience, not a transactional experience.”

Specifically, he won’t use NIL deals to attract recruits, but will instead work on making the opportunities once here worthwhile.

“We’re not going to pay signing bonuses for players to come onto the team. We’re not going to pay recruits to sign here,” Harbaugh said. “When they get here and they do well, they’re going to profit pretty good here off of the jersey sales and other examples.”

As with anything that Michigan does, it’s hard not to compare those thoughts to Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, who recently said that the Buckeyes will need to spend around $13 million in NIL deals to remain competitive each year.

Harbaugh then talked about the way other coaches and programs are handling NIL and it was hard not to assume he was thinking of Day and Ohio State.

“Some are making it sound like the coach is making a salary cap or something, the one that is writing the checks,” Harbaugh said. That’s not what it’s designed for. This is designed for players to profit off their name, image, and likeness. Period.”

Michigan’s donors have already launched the “Champions Circle” collective to help current student-athletes beef up their earnings through NIL deals so that they’re not feeling left out while new recruits benefit right away.

[Jed Hughes Podcast]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote '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 other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.