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Jim Harbaugh Takes on Refs, Should Look to His Own Team’s Play In Loss to OSU

No one will ever accuse Jim Harbaugh of being a good sport, and after Saturday’s tough overtime loss to the hated Ohio State Buckeyes that poor sport version of Harbaugh was on full display.

Rather than harp on how his team can’t expect to win games with two interceptions and a three overall turnovers, Harbaugh chose to let the world know how furious he was over a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty he got.

Here is his exact thoughts on that incident in the third quarter:

“If you throw a hat, if you throw your script toward your sideline, that’s a penalty? The lineman said ‘it is in basketball.’ I said ‘this isn’t basketball.’ He told me that he officiates basketball. I don’t know the relevance. He said it would have been a technical in basketball.”

That came as Maurice Hurst was called for offsides, putting the ball at the Michigan 8-yard line. Harbaugh’s hissy fit moved the ball inside the 5-yard line and two plays later it was just 17-14 Michigan.

It was just one of a few moments that contributed to Harbaugh’s diatribe against the officials. Let’s just say the already high-strung Harbaugh came a bit unglued in his post-game press conference:

He then went on to talk about a “gift” interference call:

“They got a gift interference call, a gift,” said Harbaugh. “The ball was uncatchable, past the receiver when Delano Hill made contact.”

While he may have a point, what about the fact that his team gave up 11 plays following that questionable call that occurred on the Michigan 36-yard line. Worry less about the call and more about the defense stopping J.T. Barrett, who methodically led his team down the field for said score to make it a one-score game.

Then there was the coup de grace…Harbaugh going full “ya, but they were doing it too” like the 5-year old you have to discipline after following the naughty kid in class.

I mean, the due literally complained about the disparate attention the refs paid to the sidelines of the two teams:

“The official on my side … is concerned about whether our coaches are in the white or not in the white – not on the field. Their coaches were on the field, practically in the huddle at times.”

How petty can one get, especially when his team gave up the second-most yards (206) on the ground for the year?

Maybe he should’ve been talking to quarterback Wilton Speight about his decision making on a pair of interceptions or a fumbled handoff exchange that luckily didn’t cost the Wolverines points.

No doubt the Big Ten office is going to have a letter of reprimand in hand for Harbaugh. They’ll also likely have a fine to deliver as well.

That’s what you get when you whine about the officials instead of looking in the mirror and realizing your team had every opportunity to win the game and couldn’t take care of its business with or without the refs “screwing” you.

But, that is likely too much to ask from one of the worst sportsman of our time.

[Detroit News]

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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