ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Whether it's fair or not, Michigan has received its fair share of scrutiny over the past few days due to its alleged recruiting tactics.
U-M can't specifically comment on individual recruits until National Signing Day, so a fair argument of what really happened in certain cases cannot happen until a few days. However, after the introductory press conference of new athletic director Warde Manuel, the media was able to catch up with head football coach Jim Harbaugh to get his take on the recruiting storylines that have come out over the past few weeks.
"We're very much out there," Harbaugh said. "We don't hide out in how we operate. It's a meritocracy in everything we do in our program. It's going to continue to be that, we're going to bring the finest student athletes with character we can to the University of Michigan and that process continues for the next three, four days."
Whether a commitment occurs one year or one day before signing day, the U-M program has certain standards that must be as a Wolverine commit.
For the U-M program, there's one thing that must happen in the community, in the classroom and one the football field.
"I'll take you through the whole process," Harbaugh said. "It's a meritocracy and they've got to continue to perform when there's early commitments. Both in the classroom, on the field and as a citizen in the community. That's how we're going about it, we're not hiding from that at all, that's what we demand."
Outgoing interim athletic director also gave his thoughts on the way Harbaugh recruits players to his program. If there's an issue with how he conducts himself, Hackett doesn't see anything. In fact, Hackett believes that Harbaugh conducts himself with integrity and notes that the program cannot respond to any wrongdoing during an open recruiting period.
"I can tell you this, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Hackett, Warde Manuel operate with total integrity and total transparency," Hackett said. "If a bad perception that we haven't been transparent is out there, of course you get criticism because that's not what Michigan stands for. I'm proud of people who've written me and say 'is this what we would do?' and I would say 'you just don't know the whole story.' Unfortunately, and in an important way, we can't rebutt what's being written. We can talk about our recruiting tactics and our approaches and coach and I have a total alignment about that. He's very good at it."