Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle had this report on August 27th...
Jim Harbaugh wanted a restroom/shower to adjoin his office, and generous Stanford donor John Arrillaga came through recently, building the Cardinal's marquee coach a new loo for between $50,000 and $70,000.
The story broke in the San Jose Mercury News. I don't know where the reporter got his info. I was going to suggest it was leaked to him, but I want to stay away from potty humor.
The new restroom is a real time-saver.
"It cuts down on drag," Harbaugh said.
Football coaches are fanatical time-hoarders. Cal's Jeff Tedford sleeps on an air mattress. I've seen it leaning against his office wall, and I'm not sure if Tedford even moves it to the floor when it's time to nap.
In the old days, every time nature called, Harbaugh had to hike the distance of two first downs to the nearest restroom. He grew weary of an even longer trek downstairs to the shower, on days when he wasn't showered in Gatorade.
I can relate, because I have been to summer camp. The time I could have saved with my own private restroom at camp would have allowed me to polish my cabin's campfire skit, and I might be on Broadway now instead of writing about a football coach's bathroom.
There will be critics who point out that Harbaugh's new lavatory sends a message of insensitivity, even though it was built with private-donor money. The country is in financial crisis, and Stanford is not exempt. Cardinal athletic programs are being cut to the bone. Jobs in the athletic department are going bye-bye.
There are probably people at Stanford - students, professors, administrators, other coaches - who winced when they heard about Harbaugh's haven.
No wincing here. As a sports guy, I understand the value of a winning football program, and the need of coaches to avoid wasting time. If Harbaugh leads the Cardinal to a bowl game, he'll have the last laugh, which would really echo in his tile bathroom.
It's simple. Football rules the realm, and every king deserves a throne room. (Note to copy desk: Don't even think about inserting a line here about "royal flush.")