Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh defends his Twitter response to Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh defends his Twitter response to Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith.

DETROIT -- Jim Harbaugh isn’t afraid to use Twitter as an avenue to express himself, especially when it means defending Michigan's football program against its main rival Ohio State.

That was the case earlier this week, when Ohio State’s athletic director Gene Smith gave his thoughts regarding U-M’s recent spring practice trip to Florida, noting that the Buckeyes didn’t need to take such measures for their spring practice.

"Is it creative? Does it help from a recruiting and marketing point of view? I get that," Smith said. "If we were jumpstarting our program I'd probably try and do that, too. But we're not jumpstarting our program. We're in a different place."

Smith’s comments drew a response from Harbaugh, who fired back noting OSU’s recent “tattoo” situation from 2011.


Today, after Michigan’s spring practice at Ford Field, Harbaugh defended his Twitter reaction, explaining the reasoning behind his response.

“I felt like one got shot over our bow,” Harbaugh said.

“It wasn’t a knee jerk reaction. We waited a good eight nine hours. We figured they might consider that being construed a certain way toward our program. Actually some of the scribes and pundits were construing it that way. So when no explanation came, I thought it was time to fire one over their bow. I consider things even right now.”

This response comes days after Smith called Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel, explaining that his words were misconstrued and had no malice towards Michigan.

Harbaugh talked to Manuel, too.

“Yeah, Warde and I talked,” Harbaugh said. “Brief conversation, we saw it exactly the same way.

As far now, Harbaugh sees this situation between him and Smith to be over. 

“I consider that ground to be thoroughly plowed at this point,” Harbaugh said.

Well, for now anyways, Michigan plays at Ohio State on Nov. 26.

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