The announcement came from the conference, stating that the Big Ten has sidelined Jim Harbaugh, the head football coach of the University of Michigan, for the last three games of the regular season.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The decision was made three weeks after the NCAA initiated a probe into Harbaugh and the team for alleged sign stealing.
The Wolverines, currently holding a 9-0 record, are set to play against the 8-1 Penn State at Happy Valley on Saturday.
Despite being forbidden to coach from the sidelines during games, Harbaugh will be allowed to serve as the head coach during practices throughout the week.
In a detailed statement, the university expressed its disapproval of the penalty.
The statement further suggested that the verdict “seems to be more about succumbing to pressure from other Conference members rather than a genuine desire to apply the rules fairly and impartially.”
“By taking this action at this hour, the Commissioner is personally intervening on the sidelines and distorting the level playing field that he claims to be preserving. And, doing so on Veteran’s Day—a court holiday—in an attempt to hinder the University from seeking immediate judicial relief does not reflect impartiality. To guarantee fairness in the process, we intend to seek a court order, alongside Coach Harbaugh, to prevent this disciplinary action from taking effect,” the statement concluded.
Earlier in the week, the team vehemently opposed any possible punishment in a 10-page letter to the Big Ten. Sources also informed the Associated Press that the Wolverines might seek an emergency legal action if they face penalties before a thorough investigation is completed.
The Big Ten stated that the university breached the conference’s standards of sportsmanship “by engaging in an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over several years, resulting in an unfair competitive edge that undermined the integrity of competition.”
The announcement added that the penalty is “imposed on the institution,” but it is Jim Harbaugh who will be bearing the consequences.
It is still unclear how Harbaugh and the Wolverines may have been involved in sign stealing, a claim which Harbaugh had previously refuted. Nevertheless, Yahoo Sports had previously reported that the NCAA was investigating whether Michigan dispatched representatives to the games of future opponents in order to gather information from their signage.
Throughout the week, coaches dedicate hours to analyzing opponents’ game footage, seeking out weaknesses that might be exploited in forthcoming games, as well as identifying strengths that they will need to counteract.
However, teams are forbidden from using footage of opponents’ sideline activities out of concern for potential sign stealing.
“Any attempt to record, whether through audio or video means, any signals given by an opposing player, coach, or other team personnel, is prohibited,” according to the 2023 NCAA football rule book.
Both Michigan and Harbaugh had previously stated that they would fully cooperate with the NCAA’s investigation.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Source : nbcnews.com
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