I remember growing up as a kid playing basketball. There was this one guy that really annoyed all of us. When he got beat he was quiet and kept his head down. When he beat you he was in your face talking smack. That's Mike Hart.
I always had a lot of respect for Mike Hart. He seemed like a good kid that just did his job and played hard. But then the Michigan Wolverines were pretty average by their standards during his career until last year. Now that Michigan is picked to do great things we see the real Mike Hart coming out. The first time I scratched my head over Mike Hart was after the Ohio State game last year. After losing to the Buckeyes Hart refused to acknowledge the better team won.
It's like I'm back on the playground again. But Hart wasn't finished there. In the offseason he got into a verbal volley with Jim Harbaugh through the newspapers.
Now the coach at Stanford, Harbaugh fired up the controversy in the spring when he told The Examiner newspaper in San Francisco that Michigan admitted athletes who were borderline academically, then steered them into less-challenging courses to keep them eligible.
"They're adulated when they're playing,'' Harbaugh said. "But when they get out, the people who adulated them won't hire them.''
Those comments still reverberate within the Michigan football program.
Coach Lloyd Carr said Tuesday he believed Harbaugh's statements were "elitist,'' "arrogant'' and "self-serving.''
Hart added: "That's a guy I have no respect for.''
Talking to reporters at the Big Ten media days inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel, both Hart and Carr vented, although to be fair to the Michigan coach, he had to be coaxed into it by multiple questions about the comments.
"You graduate from the University of Michigan and you're going to talk about your school like that? A great institution like we have, to say we're not true student-athletes?'' Hart asked. "It's coming from a guy that, I don't know ... maybe he wants to coach here and he's mad that he didn't get a job here?"
Hart went on: "It's funny to me, because he just said we're not student-athletes, then he accepts one of our transfers (quarterback Jason Forcier). What sense does that make? He obviously wants guys like us at his school; he's just mad that he can't get them.
It's nothing against Stanford, it's just that ... I don't know, I just have no respect for that guy. I don't know how you can say that."
Now today Mike blesses us with more infinite wisdom.
"There would have been no Levi Brown at No. 5," Hart said. "Levi Brown owes Jake some of that signing bonus. Jake's better than Joe Thomas, too, but Thomas got all the hype."
Seriously, Mike. Shut up, dude. Do you have any idea how stupid you sound? You make absolutely no sense. Levi Brown busted his ass and earned every penny. Show a little class and acknowledge that like your teammate does.
The real question is, how much of his future signing bonus will Mike Hart give to Jake Long. We all know Hart wouldn't be nearly half of the running back he is without him. He probably owes some to Chad Henne and Mario Manningham too for giving defenses something else to focus on allowing him more room to show off his talent. Too bad once he gets measured up at the NFL combine his stock will drop like it's Black Tuesday so he probably won't have much signing bonus to share.
Knock it off, Mike. We all know you're a tiny guy trying to act all tough. You're a good running back. Run the ball and keep your mouth shut.