The Vapid Virtue Signaling Of Michigan Football


Jim Harbaugh, the University of Michigan football coach, has hired a former women’s basketball player as a graduate assistant quarterback coach for the football team. I have some thoughts.

Let’s begin with the fact this new coach is a former basketball player, and ask a necessary question: did Michigan football get better? I do not believe they did. If I, as a former football player, had interviewed for an assistant basketball coaching position at Georgetown, I would have been laughed out of the building and told there were other more qualified candidates.

For those saying this is only a graduate assistant position, remember, this is a graduate assistant quarterback coaching position at the winningest football program in the history of the sport — one of the most coveted opportunities in the country.

Many believe this hire is an exemplary decision by Michigan to add a female to their coaching staff. But why? Why is this exemplary? If we are supposed to say it is bad to hire someone solely based on sex, why can we say it is good to hire solely based on sex? Are we not still making mention of a person’s physical characteristics?

I want to make clear I have no problem with a female being involved with the program if there is a clear value added. If you told me there is a young coaching guru, who knew the game so completely they could help make me a better player, and the only catch was that she’s a woman, I’d say, “let’s get her on the team!” After all, the quarterback pocket is a violent place and those young men need all the help they can get. That is a meritocracy. That is the purpose of sports.

But this is not meritocratic. This is vapid virtue signaling.

This is not a progressive display of female inclusion. This is a regressive example of male exclusion.

Michigan’s goal was not to improve the program with this action, and their goal was not to groom young men into positive members of society. Michigan’s only goal was to check a box and hire a female coach. This is a poor publicity play by a university that has made so many mistakes just in the past two months, with the malfeasance of the president, to our basketball coach striking an individual on the court, that frankly, I am beginning to lose some of the pride I once had for this university.

I was fortunate enough to represent Michigan at the quarterback position for four seasons — an experience I never take for granted. What little value I may have added to this storied institution has provided myself and my family with great pride.

While there, I was told, “those who stay become two things: champions, and Michigan Men.” Well, I stayed. I’ll let others judge whether or not I accomplished those two feats, but I would like to know, is it still a goal of the Michigan football team to create Michigan Men?

Michigan Person just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

David Cone is a producer and co-host of Crain & Company, the Daily Wire’s inaugural sports show, as well as a former quarterback for the University of Michigan.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

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