Jim Harbaugh wants it to be clear: He's not bolting Ann Arbor for the NFL.
The Michigan head coach plainly said Tuesday that he's not even considering leaving the Wolverines for an NFL job.
Harbaugh raised more than a few eyebrows earlier Tuesday night, telling his team that recent rumors connecting him to the vacant head-coaching job with the Los Angeles Rams are "lies made up by our enemies."
As paranoid as that sounds, Harbaugh stuck with the line at Michigan's team awards ceremony, doubling down with another head-scratcher, suggesting the NFL rumors are the work of college coaches recruiting against him and his program — coaches he refers to as "jive turkeys."
"A lot of this talk is coming from our enemies," Harbaugh said, his quotes published by mlive.com. "From coaches who, and you know the names. You probably know the names of the top three that I'm referring to. They like to say (I'm leaving) to the media, they like to tell that to recruits and their families to try to manipulate them into going into another school besides Michigan.
"But we know them as jive turkeys."
Negative recruiting was a subject broached earlier this year, when Penn State head coach James Franklin seemed to accuse coaches in the conference of using the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal to convince recruits not to go to Penn State. Ohio State's Urban Meyer and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio both denied such practices when asked about Franklin's comments at Big Ten media days in July.
So who are the three "jive turkeys" Harbaugh is referring to? Guess away.
Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.
Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football.
"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.
"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.
"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline."
Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."
"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.
"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."
Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.
Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.
As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.
Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.
The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.