Harbaugh questions players citing mental health for waivers
Gregory Shamus / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh cast doubt Friday over transferring players citing mental health issues in order to gain immediate eligibility, according to Nick Baumgardner of the Detroit Free Press, saying there "shouldn't be lying in football."

After arguing on ESPNU radio that the NCAA should eliminate the "gray area" of the transfer portal by instituting a one-time exception policy for all players, Harbaugh expressed skepticism about transfers who've cited issues such as depression.

"And the other piece that bothers me about it is, the youngster that says 'This is a mental health issue, I'm suffering from depression.' Or that's a reason to get eligible," Harbaugh said. "And once that's known that 'Hey, say this or say that' to get eligible. The problem I see in that is you're going to have guys that are 'OK, yeah, I'm depressed.'

"I don't see that helping them if it's not a legitimate thing. But nobody would know. But what are you going to say? Ten years down the road, 'I just had to say what I had to say?' And I think you're putting them in a position that's unfair, not right. And, as you said, you're saying it just to say it. And that's not truthful. ... It's not something we should be promoting at the college level. Telling the truth matters.

"You can't have experiments that aren't truthful. You can't lie about equations. Shouldn't be lying in football. That's a message that we should be teaching."

Harbaugh's controversial comments drew a reaction from former Michigan offensive lineman James Hudson, who transferred to Cincinnati last year, only to see his request for instant eligibility denied.

According to Hudson, the NCAA didn't approve his waiver because he failed to inform Michigan of his mental health issues.

Hudson's mother, Glenda, also hit back at Harbaugh, saying his attitude could potentially stop others from coming forward with their issues.

"As a professional who deals in mental health, this is why people don't come out and say these things, because people don't believe them," she told Jordan Strack of WTOL 11.

The coach didn't mention Hudson by name during the radio interview, but he was later asked about his role in players gaining immediate eligibility elsewhere upon leaving the Wolverines.

"To be clear, as a coach, I don't have any say in that. Not any involvement," Harbaugh said. "The compliance departments talk. ... The NCAA decides. But as a coach, I'm not involved in it."

Comments
Harbaugh questions players citing mental health for waivers
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox