Big Ten suspends Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh from season for policy violation


Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh. — Reuters/File

The Michigan Wolverines’ coach Jim Harbaugh has been suspended by the Big Ten Conference for the rest of the regular season due to the ongoing National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) investigations into the University of Michigan’s in-person sign-stealing ring.

Harbaugh and the university on Friday requested a temporary restraining order in Washtenaw County Trial Court, filing an emergency ex parte motion. If granted, the judge could stop Harbaugh’s suspension before hearing arguments from the Big Ten Conference and commissioner Tony Petitti.

The judge could rule on the restraining order before the No 3 Wolverines’ critical road game against No 10 Penn State (8-1) on Saturday at noon. 

According to ESPN, Michigan’s plane landed in Pennsylvania on Friday afternoon, shortly before the suspension was announced.

A statement by the conference revealed that Michigan has been found in violation of the Big Ten’s sportsmanship policy for “conducting an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over multiple years, resulting in an unfair competitive advantage that compromised the integrity of the competition.”

Petitti announced Harbaugh’s suspension in a 13-page letter to the athletic director of the University of Michigan Warde Manuel.

According to Petitti, Harbaugh’s suspension would allow the team to play out the rest of its season while still providing substantial consequences for the team violating the Big Ten’s policies.

“This is not a sanction of Coach Harbaugh,” the conference said in its report. “It is a sanction against the University that, under the extraordinary circumstance presented by this offensive conduct, best fits the violation.”

Harbaugh’s suspension bans him from the “game venue” on game days. However, he’s allowed to coach the team for the remainder of the week.


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