Harbaugh wears that one style of pant almost every time you see him. They’re the closest thing college football has to a “Steve Jobs black turtleneck.”
Unsurprisingly, the dedication, and his profile as head coach of one of college football’s biggest programs, Michigan , landed him some endorsement opportunities. Sportico ‘s Daniel Libit used FOIA requests to discover numerous instances of college coaches’ “outside income” and discovered that Harbaugh picked up $250,000 for a 2019 ad for Downy.
Harbaugh had a brief appearance in a spot for the company’s Wrinkle Guard product, in which he asked an actor if he thought “he could keep these khakis wrinkle-free all season.” Pretty good work for the Wolverines head coach.
NEW: I FOIA’d hundreds of NCAA-mandated “athletically related outside income” disclosure forms for college coach & admin outside, which give a sense of what athletes could make, if allowed.
— Daniel Libit (@DanielLibit) April 8, 2021
This, of course, comes as the NIL debate in college sports rages on. The NCAA is currently in court fighting what feels inevitable: allowing players to sign similar endorsement deals and take advantage of their fame and status as college athletes.
Some states have already passed laws that will allow for players to retain their name, image, and likeness, and individual schools have started to gear up for it. There is no convincing reason why Harbaugh can step away from his duties as a coach for a day or two in the offseason and shoot this ad for Downy, and a star Michigan quarterback or linebacker can’t do the same for a local business.
For Jim Harbaugh in particular, we’ll see how much longer these opportunities present themselves. After a rough 2-4 2020 season, and years of losses to Ohio State and other major programs, he signed a new deal with Michigan , but will be making just over half of what his last deal, which paid him around $8 million per year, got him.
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