Jim Harbaugh addresses Mazi Smith felony charge, slams 'haters'

Just before Michigan football set off for Bloomington to take on Indiana in Week 6,

Wolverines team captain and star defensive tackle Mazi Smith was pulled over,

where it was alleged that he was illegally concealing a handgun.

Days after the regular season ended, Smith was charged with a felony — a full seven weeks after the incident.

In the aftermath, there has been a lot of consternation about letting Smith play without any form of overt punishment,

as well as charges of hypocrisy levied at Washtenaw County prosecutor Eli Savit —

mostly from rival fans who may have their own axe to grind given the situation that happened in the Lloyd Carr tunnel and the charges stemming from that incident following the Michigan State game.

While head coach Jim Harbaugh had issued a joint statement with Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel last week,

he further addressed the incident on Sunday evening on the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl press conference on Zoom,

saying that the University of Michigan brass is well-aware of what’s happened and are addressing it in-kind.

“We found out the day that it happened. Mazi was completely honest, upfront cooperative,”

Harbaugh said. “Felt like — he gave us the exact circumstances.

And then, as I said, this has been something that’s gone to the —

I really respect to the justice system and feel like there’ll be a fair resolution that comes soon from that.

“As far as a decision on to play Mazi Smith,

from the time of the incident through now and that’s a decision that’s made by our athletic director Warde Manuel and our president Santa Ono,

and myself, all who know Mazi Smith, and know the kind of person he is and the trust that he’s built up in our program.”

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