Paul Finebaum praises Michigan's Italy trip, says Jim Harbaugh outsmarted Urban Meyer, Nick Saban
In a stunning turn of events, Paul Finebaum had nothing but praise for Jim Harbaugh.
The ESPN radio personality, who has been arguably Harbaugh’s biggest critic, went on SportsCenter and did nothing but applaud Harbaugh for Michigan’s trip to Italy.
Finebaum was asked how big of an impact Harbaugh’s initiative could have across college football.
“I think it’s significant. I think it this is one of the most positive and maybe the best stories of the year in college football,” Finebaum said on SportsCenter. “I believe any administrator or any person at an NCAA convention that tries to shoot this down is simply foolish. I sat there the other day watching the video of Jim Harbaugh and Pope Francis and taking pictures with everyone else and I was really just mesmerized by it.
“This is what the college experience should be about. You’re doing something different. By the way, normal students get to go on overseas trips for credit. Why not take a team? Whether the practices were worthwhile or not, it’s irrelevant.
“It’s a much better idea than last year in Florida. My hat’s off to Jim Harbaugh. He nailed it on this one.”
But Finebaum went a different route this time. Instead of bashing Harbaugh for making a spring break trip all about getting attention, he talked about how he beat the system in a positive way.
So does that mean Finebaum is done bashing Michigan and Harbaugh?
“Listen, I have plenty of issues with the (Michigan) fans and Jim Harbaugh, but on this one, he was right,” Finebaum said. “I think I would be disingenuous to sit here and tell you, a very knowledgable football person, anything other than that. Listen. Give credit when it’s due and Jim Harbaugh, to me, outsmarted Nick Saban, Urban Meyer and everyone else.
“This is the best recruiting tool that I’ve seen in…maybe ever in college football. Yeah, go ahead and say it. It’s the best recruiting tool I’ve ever seen.”