LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Big Ten Conference has found the University of Michigan in violation of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy, the conference said Friday. The announcement was by an online news statement.

The conference found that U of M had conducted “an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over multiple years, resulting in an unfair competitive advantage that compromised the integrity of competition,” according to the statement.

The university in October suspended staffer Connor Stalions without pay pending the NCAA investigation into allegations of sign-stealing.

As a penalty, the team must compete without head football Coach Jim Harbaugh for the remaining games in the 2023 season, effective immediately. “This disciplinary action shall not preclude the University or its football team from having its Head Football Coach attend practices or other football team activities other than the game activities to which it applies,” according to the statement. “For clarity, the Head Football Coach shall not be present at the game venue on the dates of the games to which this disciplinary action applies.”  

Sign-stealing is the practice of using methods outside of the NCAA rulebook to learn other football teams’ signals for play calls. The general goal of sign stealing is to know an opponent’s play before the ball is snapped.