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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Harbaugh Calls for Athlete Revenue Sharing Amid College Sports Shift

  • “The current status quo is unacceptable and won’t survive,” Jim Harbaugh said Monday.
  • The Michigan football coach defended athletes as the NCAA landscape changed dramatically with conference realignment.
“The current status quo is unacceptable and won’t survive,” Harbaugh said Monday.
Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh believes a revenue-sharing system is needed to pay college athletes as lucrative broadcast deals continue driving conference realignment en masse. 

“What I don’t understand is how the NCAA, television networks, conferences, universities, and coaches can continue to pull in millions, and in some cases billions, of dollars in revenue off the efforts of college student-athletes across the country without providing enough opportunity to share in the ever-increasing revenues,” Harbaugh said, per Alejandro Zúñiga of 247 Sports. “Who do we all go to watch? Who do we all go to see? … They need to share in the profits.”

Harbaugh’s comments came Monday during his press conference ahead of Week 1 of the college football season. The school has suspended Harbaugh for the first three games of the season for his alleged violations during the COVID-19 dead period.

Harbaugh, 59, headed into his ninth season at Michigan, added that “the current status quo is unacceptable and won’t survive” as the NCAA fights to keep college athletes from gaining employee status. Harbaugh played quarterback at Michigan before playing and later coaching in the NFL.

“As a former player and current coach, mentoring many of these student-athletes, what I want to do is be a voice for the student-athletes. I want them to be treated with the respect and the dignity that they deserve,” said Harbaugh, according to On3.

Michigan plays in the Big Ten, with new media deals worth $7 billion. This season will be the last before USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington all join the Big Ten in moves spurred by the Pac-12’s failure to sign a lucrative broadcast deal.  

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