Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, talking to a referee during the Capitol One Orange Bowl last month, drew the ire of many other coaches with his travel for practices. MIKE EHRMANN/GETTY IMAGES Associated Press
Photo: Associated Press
Photo: Associated Press

Friday Finds: Harbaugh vs. Paul Feinbaum, Saban’s recruiting pitch, Reds rebuild

College football offseason is officially underway now that we have a Jim Harbaugh tweet to talk about. 

As a change of pace, the Michigan coach actually seems to be on the right track with this one – other than calling his most recent victim by the wrong name, of course. 

If you’re confused, here’s the background (hat tip: College Football Talk): ESPN’s Paul Finebaum accused Harbaugh of cheating by at least considering hiring a highly regarded prospect’s father to his staff. 

Cheating is, of course, a significant charge, and it doesn’t really fit here, so Harbaugh is well within his rights to defend himself. 

Hiring a recruit’s parent or coach (both things Harbaugh has already done) is not against the rules, at least not yet, and Finebaum is in fact well known as an SEC homer, so unlike Harbaugh’s unfair attack on Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith, this jab seems fairly justified. 

Does this new development mean a Harbaugh team might actually win a championship next season? 

Stay tuned… 

Yesterday at spring training, the debate of the day seemed to be if the Reds can or should say they are rebuilding. 

That’s mostly a matter of semantics, but it’s interesting nonetheless. 

“It’s the responsibility of the club to tell fans this is where we are and we’re being realistic,” manager Bryan Price said. “It’s hard to tell that to your fan base and not have it affect your players. As soon as you buy into a rebuild it’s like saying it doesn’t matter if you win or lose … but it does matter.”

Truth be told, the Reds were more in tear-down mode the last two seasons, and now they can more accurately say they are building again. 

digital pkg reds

I know there are plenty of fans in the camp that the only way they can get better is not only to trade away all their assets but lose as much as possible to stockpile high draft picks. My study of the Cubs’ rebuild showed there is some merit to that... but I still never quite bought into feeling fine about the team finishing so close to the basement the last two seasons because it was actually still fielding a respectable lineup that included multiple players who have been All-Stars. 

There are also those who can’t stomach any season the team doesn’t seem to be trying, so there is a balancing act to be sure. The team should never take fans for granted, but it has to do what is smart in terms of putting the best possible team on the field over the long haul. 

Then of course health is always the elephant in the room. This is shaping up to be another of those seasons where if everything goes right, they can be competitive. The last couple years they would have probably won a lot more games if not for the high number of injuries, so maybe they’re due...

We gave some love to Dayton basketball yesterday, so it’s only fair to highlight Wright State today. 

The Raiders held on for an 84-81 victory at Youngstown State last night. Mark Alstork scored 33 points as Scott Nagy’s team inched closer to 20 wins in his first season at the helm. 

A Horizon League title looks out of reach, but WSU is positioning itself to make some noise in the conference tournament -- again... 

Raiders win at YSU

Speaking of the Flyers, Archie Miller made a change in his starting lineup this week and explained why yesterday... 

If you missed our weekly recruiting roundup yesterday, you can find it here

Of course that news cycle never stops, so we’ve already got to more items of note. 

Dunbar running back Tavion Thomas, whose recruiting has blown up since about the time teammate Joseph Scates committed to Michigan State, added an offer from Georgia shortly after Alabama coach Nick Saban gave him an invitation to play for the Crimson Tide. 

Meanwhile, if you have ever wondered what it’s like to get a phone call from Saban explaining he wants you to play football for him, here’s a glimpse. 

One of the other competitors for area’s top running back, Trotwood-Madison’s Raveion Hargrove, shared last night he intends to take a trip to Rutgers to see what former Ohio State assistant Chris Ash has to offer in his second year as the head man for the Scarlet Knights.