Jim Harbaugh defends Ronnie Bell after angry fan tells Bell to quit after drop

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh came to the defense of one of his players after a fan sent that player an angry email. After a crucial drop during Saturday’s loss to Penn State, Michigan receiver Ronnie Bell was the recipient of an email urging him to “never play football again.” That email was sent by a Michigan alumnus.

On Monday, Harbaugh blasted the fan — Connor Grady — for sending that email, according to MLive.com.

“I’m sure Connor Grady got drunk as heck Saturday night and probably talking to his friends, took the email and wrote a bunch of stuff that I’m sure the next day, he was like, ‘why the heck did I do that? I’m an idiot,’" Harbaugh said. “I’m sure he probably felt pretty bad about it.”

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The full email was circulated by Bell’s father — Aaron — on social media. Aaron Bell has since deleted the tweet containing the email.

The subject line of the email was “Please quit already.” The full email read:

“Please quit the team already. Utterly sad that my tuition goes to pay for the scholarship for the scrub ass player like you. Bum ass. Go play basketball somewhere. Please do us all a favor and never play football again.”

Grady’s name and contact info were listed in the tweet.

Grady was upset after Bell dropped a pass in the end zone during Michigan’s 28-21 loss to Penn State. The drop would have tied the game late. Bell was spotted crying on the sideline after the play.

In an unexpected twist, Grady apologized to Bell for sending the email. Associated Press writer Larry Lage shared Grady’s note to Bell in a thread on Twitter. The apology read:

I have privately apologized to Mr. Bell, and I have also apologized publicly to the Bell family. I am a proud Michigan alumnus and a passionate fan who has supported the team for years.

However, my conduct was not acceptable under any circumstances, and I make no excuses for my behavior. I am deeply sorry to have brought shame and embarrassment to the Michigan community, and I hope that the community can forgive me for such unbecoming behavior.

Thank you for the opportunity to apologize in your story. Sincerely, Connor Grady.

Over the past 48 hours, Bell’s teammates have come out in support of the wide receiver. Many have pointed out that Bell had 5 receptions for 82 yards during the contest.

After Saturday’s loss, Michigan will look to get back on track against Notre Dame on Saturday.

Ronnie Bell was the recipient of a nasty email from a Michigan fan. (Getty Images)
Ronnie Bell was the recipient of a nasty email from a Michigan fan. (Getty Images)


Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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