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Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh facing possible suspension from the NCAA

Publish Date: 01/07/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Possible suspension

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Coach, reiterated Thursday his intention to stay with the Wolverines in 2023. Sources have told us that the NCAA is looking into allegations of violations during the COVID-19 recruitment dead period.

These violations include impermissible contact with recruiting personnel during NCAA-mandated dead periods. Also, the use of a defensive coach for on-field coaching activities is a violation of the rules. ESPN sources said that Harbaugh’s cooperation in the NCAA enforcement investigation is being investigated. Sources said Harbaugh could be subject to a multigame suspension.

Friday’s statement by Warde Manuel, Michigan’s athletic director, stated that the NCAA had drafted allegations regarding Michigan’s football program. We have cooperated with the investigation and will continue to do so. We will not make further comments due to NCAA’s enforcement process.”

Sources claim that the draft notice of allegations by the NCAA contains a Level 1 violation in which Harbaugh is accused of not following up with or misleading investigators from the NCAA. Level I violations can result in harsher penalties and are the most serious. According to a source, the draft also contains four Level II violations. These relate to the impermissible recruiting contact during COVID. These violations are not as serious, and Harbaugh was questioned by NCAA enforcement personnel.

The NCAA bylaws require that head coaches monitor their staff and ensure compliance within their programs. Failure to do so can lead to sanctions. Except if you are Sean Miller at Arizona, then you will not be held accountable, but the NCAA loves to play these games.

John Bacon, the journalist at The Athletic, first reported that the NCAA is investigating Michigan.

Harbaugh issued a statement on Thursday afternoon regarding media reports that he might be returning to the NFL. He said he would remain as Michigan’s coach for a ninth year. On Tuesday, David Newton of ESPN reported that Harbaugh had spoken to David Tepper, Carolina Panthers’s owner, about the vacant head-coaching job the team will have at season’s end. Newton said that the conversation was not meant to be an interview. But I am guessing if these violations prove true that, Harbaugh may be a little more interested in the NFL.

Harbaugh’s Thursday statement echoed those made last month when Harbaugh was asked about rumors that he might leave Michigan to join the NFL.

Harbaugh stated, “While no one can predict the future, I believe that I will enthusiastically be the coach at Michigan in 2023,” as he said in the statement. “I spoke with Santa Ono, the university president, and Warde Manuel, the athletic director. I appreciate their support for me and my program.”

He concluded by quoting Bo Schembechler (his former Michigan coach), who said those who stay will be champions.

Harbaugh, 59, was interviewed in February last year for the Minnesota Vikings coaching vacancy. He returned to Michigan. According to the Detroit Free Press, he told Manuel that his NFL pursuit was a “one-time thing” that would “not be a recurring theme every year.” It seems strange that he has already talked to the Carolina Panthers, but not unexpectedly, as this is what College Football coaches do.

Harbaugh led Michigan to consecutive Big Ten championships and College Football Playoff appearances. For the first time since 1999, Michigan beat rival Ohio State in consecutive years, for the first time in years.

I am sure Harbaugh would probably stay as the Head Coach of his alma mater, but if the heat gets turned up, rest assured he will have no issues with moving on to the NFL.

 

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