Suspended Harbaugh talks hearing, ‘Judge Judy,’ chickens

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Jim Harbaugh missed Saturday’s 24-15 win over Penn State due to the suspension levied against him on Friday for violations of the Big Ten’s sportsmanship policy

In his news conference Monday, Harbaugh addressed not only the upcoming hearing that will decide whether he can be on the sidelines on Saturday against Maryland, but also his past assertions that chickens are nervous birds, his potential illness and more.

Harbaugh opened by praising the Michigan administration, alumni and fans for their support and saying he was ‘very proud of [the] players. Players played their hearts out’ in the win over Penn State.

Here’s everything else from Harbaugh’s weekly media availability:

Jim Harbaugh on his suspension, hearing

Harbaugh said he and Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel learned of his suspension from social media — not from the Big Ten.

Despite the criticism around Michigan over the last several weeks, Harbaugh stood by his roster, and said he thinks America should, too.

“They’ve gotta be America’s team,’ Harbaugh said. ‘America loves a team that beats the odds, beats the adversity, overcomes what the naysayers, critics and so-called experts think. That’s my favorite kind of team.”

Harbaugh also said he’s looking for ‘due process’ at his hearing. In a civics class he took as a senior in high school, he learned ‘you’re innocent until proven guilty’ and said he would like that opportunity. He said he hasn’t decided if he will testify at Friday’s hearing, which will determine whether he can return to the sidelines.

‘That’s not my dance floor,’ Harbaugh said. ‘I’ve watched a lot of shows. I’ve watched ‘Judge Judy’ a lot.’ (Harbaugh is notoriously a big fan of Judge Judy, and even appeared at a taping of her show with his father. Jack, in 2013).

‘Trust is big to me,’ Harbaugh said in 2013 at the NFL combine. ‘I’m a big fan of the ‘Judge Judy’ show. When you lie in Judge Judy’s courtroom, it’s over. Your credibility is completely lost and you stand no chance of winning that case. I learned that from her. It’s very powerful. And true. If somebody lies to you, how can you trust anything they say after that?’

Jim Harbaugh on Sherrone Moore’s postgame interview

Interim head coach Sherrone Moore gave an emotional postgame interview after the win over Penn State, tearfully telling Harbaugh he loved him and that the win was for him.

‘I was like five inches from the TV to watch that,’ Harbaugh said. ‘It was beautiful… I’ll remember what Sherrone said, and Blake [Corum], and all the players, and I already know. I know how [Moore] feels, I know how the players feel, I already know. But it meant a lot. It means a lot. Much appreciated.’

Jim Harbaugh on chickens

According to a 2018 report from Bleacher Report, Harbaugh famously told former Wolverines quarterback Wilton Speight (at the time on UCLA’s roster) not to eat chicken as part of his nutritional plan, simply on the assertion that a chicken is a ‘nervous bird.’

‘He thinks some type of sickness injected its way into the human population when people began eating white meats instead of beef and pork,’ Speight said, according to that 2018 report. ‘And he believes it, 100 percent.’

On Monday, Harbaugh recanted that statement: He himself got chicks for Easter in 2020, and now the chickens lay their own eggs.

“I’m the one who takes care of them,’ Harbaugh said. ‘The respect that I have for chickens — there was a time when I said a chicken was a nervous bird — I was dead wrong. These chickens are low maintenance and high production.’

Harbaugh on his sickness

Harbaugh sounded raspy on Monday, leading to a reporter asking him if he was sick. Harbaugh insisted he wasn’t.

‘I’m the iron wall that viruses bash against and shatter,’ Harbaugh said. ‘I’ll do some more pushups and eat an apple.’

This post appeared first on USA TODAY