Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said on Thursday that a mistake was made during the vetting process in the recent hire of Bo Schembechler’s son, who resigned last month following offensive social media activity.
Glenn “Shemy” Schembechler, 53, stepped down just three days after he was hired as the team’s assistant director of recruiting. He conceded in a statement that he engaged in “flippant behavior on Twitter,” which included numerous offensive and insensitive posts, including several suggesting slavery and Jim Crow had the positive effect of strengthening Black individuals and families.
“Once I became aware of things that were offensive — offensive to me, offensive to other members of our team — [we acted],” Harbaugh said, according to MLive.com. “We didn’t want that mindset around.”
Harbaugh, who made the comments Thursday at a football camp at Wayne State University in Detroit, said Michigan has since parted ways with the third-party human resources company that screened Schembechler.
“I read the report myself,” Harbaugh said. “We have a company that vets that — social media — and they came back and [cleared him]. We’ve got a new company doing that 1685659090, but they’ve got to be better.
“I’ll take responsibility for that,” he said. “If somebody can find that in a day, then we have to be better ourselves.”
A school spokesman confirmed to ESPN on Thursday that Michigan’s athletic department is changing its vendor that handles human resources background checks following the Schembechler resignation.
“We currently utilize two background checks for vetting athletic department staff, but are re-evaluating that process moving forward,” said David Ablauf, an associate athletic director for football communications, in a text message.
Harbaugh played quarterback for Schembechler’s father, Bo, at Michigan from 1982 to 1986.
“I’ve known Shemy for a long time, but there’s no sacred cows,” said Harbaugh. “It’s not who we are — it’s not us.”
On May 17, Schembechler tweeted: “I’m beyond honored to return home to @UMichFootball! #GoBlue always and forever!”
On May 20, the same day Schembechler’s Twitter account was deactivated, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel and Harbaugh issued a shared statement announcing Schembechler’s resignation.
It has been a tumultuous offseason for Michigan, which has incurred several off-field incidents since its appearance in the College Football Playoff. In January, the NCAA sent Michigan a notice of allegations against Harbaugh for allegedly misleading NCAA enforcement staff who were looking into possible violations during a COVID-19 recruiting dead period.
Later that month, Michigan announced it fired co-offensive coordinator Matt Weiss, who remains under investigation by university police for “a report of computer access crimes” at the school’s football facility.
Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh says error made in vetting process with Glenn Schembechler