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'Good to hope': Michigan's Jim Harbaugh believes season will kick off as scheduled

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, speaking publicly for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak that has halted college athletics, along with all professional sports, said it’s “good to hope” when it comes to what the future holds for the resumption of sports.

Harbaugh appeared on a podcast posted Friday with Jay Nordlinger, senior editor of the National Review, and a childhood friend from their time growing up in Ann Arbor.

He mentioned to Nordlinger there are so many opinions of what will happen to the many sports, all in a holding pattern during this coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s good to hope, right?” Harbaugh said. “That’s not a bad thing.”

Nordlinger asked if Harbaugh expects the football season to begin at its originally scheduled time. “Same thing, hope and going to prepare,” Harbaugh said. “Not going to give it one thought that it’s not going to happen, because it’s like being a quarterback — I learned that it’s better to be prepared and not have the opportunity than to not prepare and then your chance comes and your opportunity comes and you’re not prepared to do it. 

Michigan football would have been participating in spring practice now, and an open spring practice was scheduled for April 18 at Michigan Stadium. The players have been home since the university closed, and they’re taking online classes and working out on their own to stay in shape.

“I miss the team being together and practicing and the coaches, and the managers, I mean everybody being around and working toward a goal,” Harbaugh said on the podcast. “Just the company. They’re fun, hilarious and good guys. Being around them every day, I miss them.”

Harbaugh said he has enjoyed his time at home with wife, Sarah, and their four children. They play sports, he said, perform jobs around the house and watch old football games and golf tournaments.

He said he has found people becoming more in tune with their faith as the world navigates during this crisis.

“As we all go through what we’re going through now with the COVID-19, I see people more concerned about others, and more prayerful,” Harbaugh said. “God has virtually stopped the world from spinning, and I don’t think it’s coincidence, my personal feeling living a faith-based life. This is a message, or this is something that should be a time where we grow in our faith and reverence and respect for God. You see people taking more of a view of sanctity of life, and I hope it continues and not just in this time of crisis or pandemic.

“And lastly, abortion. We talk about sanctity of life, and yet we live in a society that aborts babies. I mean, there can’t be anything more horrendous.”

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