Jim Harbaugh had enough of Paul Finebaum.
On Thursday night, the Michigan coach took to Twitter to blast the noted SEC Network analyst, calling Finebaum “the unabashed SEC water carrier.”
Turns out, one quote in particular made Harbaugh turn prickly.
Finebaum has criticized Harbaugh on a number of issues ranging from satellite camps and more throughout the past year. But on Wednesday, Finebaum has pointed words during an appearance on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” after Harbaugh hired Michael Johnson Sr., a former college and NFL assistant who’s the father of a 2019 dual-threat quarterback recruit.
“He’s an evil genius,” Finebaum said on the show, via Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com. “I think he’s one of the smartest people I’ve run into in a long time. Most of what he’s done is just that: Genius … but this is wrong. It may not be illegal by NCAA standards and bylaws as of this moment, but to me, it’s cheating. It’s blatantly disregarding the spirit of the NCAA rule. We all know why he’s doing it. This is the same person who, last year, accused Nick Saban of cheating and Hugh Freeze of cheating.
“I know he won’t be penalized for it, but he’s cheating. Why don’t we just face up to it? There’s no other reason why he would hire this man. It’s been done in the past. But it’s still wrong. I don’t know why the media celebrates Jim Harbaugh and doing things that are, in my mind, unethical.”
It’s easy to see why Harbaugh would take issue with those words. Still, it’s strange to make the tiff such a public spectacle. It’s great publicity for Finebaum, who likely will play up the episode in the future and try to egg the coach on even more.
Chances are, this rivalry is far from over.