Harbaugh May Stay Put After All

Please stay, Coach. (Image credit: The Dish, http://news.stanford.edu/thedish/)
In the wake of Andrew Luck’s announcement that he’s “[committed to earning [his] degree in architectural design from Stanford University and [is] on track to accomplish this at the completion of the spring quarter of 2012](http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/sports/ncaafootball/07luck.html),” it seems as though [my discussion of Harbaugh leaving](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/2011/01/05/harbaugh-looks-for-the-option/) was premature. Now, it seems as though, as predicted, Jim Harbaugh is staying in the Bay Area, but that Stanford may be boosting its offer [to stay in contention with](http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5998651) (or [even beat](http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_localsfo/20110106/ts_yblog_localsfo/49ers-dolphins-in-bidding-war-for-jim-harbaugh)) the 49ers’ offer. According to sources, Stanford is offering an over-$6 million plus incentives package to keep Harbaugh in the picture. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s almost five times his current $1.25 million/year deal and double [the $3 million that he was reported to be offered earlier](http://www.mercurynews.com/orange-bowl/ci_16967289?nclick_check=1). It also puts Stanford ahead of the 49ers in the absolute size of the offer and may have also catapulted Stanford into being the odds-on favorite as Harbaugh’s next coaching position.

$6 million is a lot of money. A lot of money. John Hennessy, university president, makes less than $1 million. Does this offer make sense? A lot of it is going to depend on whether a couple of great seasons can invigorate the Stanford alumni base and pick up the revenues to cover this cost. I’m sure that Stanford Athletics has done some projections on this and thinks that they can stay in the black (at least in the football program) and I hope that they come true. If the dream team stays here (read: Luck and Harbaugh), then I think that we’ll at least bring another great season to this school.

UPDATE: A petition has begun to keep Harbaugh at Stanford. Will it have any impact on his decision? Probably not, but it’s a reflection of the football fever that he’s stirred here on the Farm.

UPDATE: Harbaugh agreed Friday morning to a five-year, $25-million contract to become the 49ers’ head coach.

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