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‘Such a Sophomoric Ploy’: Michigan’s Harbaugh Rips PSU’s Franklin for Tunnel Incident

The saga of the “Great Tunnel Debacle of 2022” that took place between Penn State and Michigan is ongoing, and Jim Harbaugh has weighed in.

In his weekly press conference Monday afternoon, Michigan coach Harbaugh ripped Penn State coach James Franklin for his role in the halftime skirmish between the two teams that took place in Michigan Stadium’s tunnel Oct. 15.

Franklin had words for an unknown person during the skirmish, and days later, during his weekly press conference, Franklin criticized Michigan Stadium’s one-tunnel design.

Harbaugh isn’t having any of it.

“I’ve really got bigger fish to fry than Coach Franklin’s opinion on the halftime tunnel (incident) from a game ago,” Harbaugh said. “All they have to do is walk into their locker room. You saw pretty clearly that they completely stopped; they weren’t letting us get up the tunnel. It just seemed like such a sophomoric ploy to keep us out of our locker room. He looked like he was the ringleader of the whole thing. But no, I’ve got bigger fish to fry than worrying about that kind of whining.”

Video of the skirmish surfaced not long after halftime of what turned out to be a 41-17 Michigan rout. Two days later, another clip went viral, and this one involved a furious Franklin yelling.

“Would you stop talking?” Franklin can clearly be heard saying to an unknown person. “We’ll handle our guys; you handle your guys. It’s this fucking guy.”

Franklin then yelled, “just stop talking to us,” before a game official tried to calm him.

At Franklin’s weekly Tuesday press conference, Neil Rudel of the Altoona Mirror asked him about the incident, and although Franklin didn’t get into why he was yelling, he did give an opinion.

“To me, we need to put a policy in place from a conference perspective,” Franklin said. “In my mind, that’s going to stop it. We’re not the first team to kind of get into a jawing match in the tunnel. For me, I want to focus on getting my team in their locker room and not jawing back and forth.”

Last November, in the same tunnel, Michigan and Ohio State got into it a little bit at halftime of their rivalry game.


Apparently, Penn State’s players also threw PB&J sandwiches at their opponents.

A reporter might ask Franklin about Harbaugh’s comments at his weekly presser this Tuesday, but he’ll likely not give much of an answer. His focus right now is on No. 2 Ohio State, who Penn State plays at Beaver Stadium this Saturday at noon.

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