Jim Harbaugh defends football against 'scrutiny'

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has been at the center of criticism regarding college football's seemingly constant recruiting calendar, even from fellow coaches such as Alabama's Nick Saban.

Monday in Baltimore he stuck up for the sport and his practices.


At an all-day camp at Patterson Park -- the eighth of 38 stops -- Harbaugh gave a passionate defense of the sport of football.

"There's no doubt that there's a prejudice against football — pro level, college level, high school level, pee wee football level," Harbaugh said. "They got something against football. We'll overcome it, though."

Pressed on what he meant by "prejudice," Harbaugh elaborated.

"Let's take lacrosse for example — white sport, rising, affluent sport," Harbaugh said. "They recruit them in the eighth grade, dead period for a couple days in August. It's a totally different situation. It bothers us, but if it's a test of wills, we're going to fight for the youngsters and the student-athletes and their families and for the game of football itself."

For almost three weeks this spring, the NCAA prohibited satellite camps before the Board of Directors overturned that ban April 28. But the resistance from some, such as Saban, has not subsided, with most opponents upset by the recruiting advantage given to the coaches at the camps.

Harbaugh, though, refused to back down, issuing a strong statement in support of the camps. "This is good for the student-athletes, it's good for the families and it's good for competition," he said, before adding that anyone against the camps is against one of those three causes.

"It just seems like football gets the majority of the scrutiny and the rules that are intended to hurt the student-athletes," Harbaugh said. "That makes no sense. That's why I'm pointing this out."