August 12, 2017
ANN ARBOR — He says he had little input, but Jim Harbaugh is standing by his employer’s decision to let Grant Perry back on the Michigan football team.
The junior receiver from Bloomfield Hills was granted full reinstatement by the University of Michigan on Friday, with athletic director Warde Manuel saying in a statement Perry had “met every institutional expectation.”
Manuel’s ruling came one week after Perry was sentenced to 12 months probation and 60 hours of community service stemming from an October assault in East Lansing.
“I support Warde and his decision,” Harbaugh said. “It was never a good situation from the very beginning. None of us liked it, that one of ours was in a situation like that.
“But it is good to have some resolution to it. It’s been investigated, prosecuted, adjudicated in a court of law. Everyone had their day in court, and that’s what I’d call a good thing.”
Perry was suspended for the first half of 2017 after he was charged with criminal sexual conduct, forcing him to sit out the Orange Bowl, spring practice and miss the team’s subsequent trip to Italy.
According to police and court documents, Perry was accused of grabbing a woman by the groin and buttocks outside a bar, then fleeing when officers arrived.
He took a plea deal in June, one that saw two counts of fourth-degree sexual misconduct dropped in exchange for misdemeanor assault and battery and felony resisting arrest.
“We’ve already suspended him, pretty severely, from games and time around the football team,” Harbaugh said. “Just following athletic department and university protocol, that’s all we did the entire time through.”
Perry was granted terms under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which means both charges would be wiped from his record if he avoids further legal trouble. He’s also expected to meet requirements set by the university, athletic department and football team, Warde said.
And Harbaugh is fully on board. Perry caught 13 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown last season, and is expected to be in the mix for playing time amidst a young crop of receivers.
“Warde did talk to me about it,” Harbaugh said. “And he talked to a lot of people on campus. He talked to many, many people on campus. More scholars than I.
“But I did have some input, basically to support what he was thinking.”