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Jim Harbaugh to Donate Contract Bonuses to Michigan Dept. Impacted by COVID Pay Cuts

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 30, 2021

Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is donating the bonus money from his contract to be distributed among employees within the university's athletic department.

Harbaugh wants to help those who had to accept pay cuts amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2020, Michigan cut 21 jobs from its athletic department and instituted salary reductions of 5 to 10 percent.

The Detroit News' Angelique Chengelis provided specifics as to the incentives in the renegotiated extension he signed with the Wolverines in January, which will help cover the money that was lost:

angelique @chengelis

Harbaugh announces he and wife Sarah are giving whatever incentive bonus money he earns this season back to the athletic department to distribute to those in the dept who had to endure pay cuts last year because of Covid — “Inside Michigan Football” radio w <a href="https://twitter.com/JonJansen77?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JonJansen77</a>⁩ ⬇️ <a href="https://t.co/aMGuUsBZfM">pic.twitter.com/aMGuUsBZfM</a>

Harbaugh already triggered a $500,000 bonus as Michigan's win over Ohio State clinched a Big Ten East title.

If the Wolverines beat Iowa on Saturday, he would add another $1 million for winning the Big Ten and likely another $500,000 for reaching the College Football Playoff semifinals. Should Michigan capture its first national championship since 1997, it would put another $1 million into the bonus pool.

This time last year, Harbaugh looked to be on shaky ground in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The team dropped to 2-4 following a loss to Penn State and didn't play its final three games.

The 57-year-old's new contract didn't provide a ton of long-term security, either, because it lowered his salary, thus easing the financial burden on Michigan if it wanted to fire him following the 2021 season.

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By betting on himself, Harbaugh may have salvaged his tenure, and Monday's gesture is another way for him to bolster his soaring popularity.

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