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Jerry Rice thinks Jim Harbaugh is 'gone' from the 49ers

49ers great Jerry Rice added more fuel to rumors that head coach Jim Harbaugh will be leaving the organization after the season.

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is "gone," Jerry Rice told Sports Illustrated's Pro Football Now. The head coach has been the subject of rumors this season that allege a rocky relationship between him and the 49ers' front office and players. Rice echoed a growing sentiment that Harbaugh will part ways with the franchise after the season.

"With Jim Harbaugh, there's a lot of questions out there right now," Rice said. "We don't really know if he wants to come back and be the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers. ... Maybe that's starting to wear and tear on the team and it's taking its toll."

Rice expanded on the comments Tuesday on a promotional trip in New York, citing Harbaugh's "collegiate mentality" as a reason for discord, according to New York Newsday.

"I have heard some complaints from some players that he likes to try to coach with the collegiate mentality, and that's just not going to work in the NFL," Rice said.

Another former NFL wide receiver, Randy Mossmade similar comments last month, saying, "He treated us men like we were still college kids at Stanford" during Moss' only season with the 49ers under Harbaugh. The comments are all the more intriguing with several high profile college coaching opportunities set to open up, most notably at Harbaugh's alma mater, the University of Michigan.

Harbaugh is often mentioned as the top choice among the Wolverines' options to replace struggling head coach Brady Hoke. He played quarterback at Michigan under coaching legend Bo Schembechler from 1983 to 1987.