LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The University of Michigan announced on Thursday that head football coach Jim Harbaugh will accept a three-game suspension and the Big Ten Conference has resolved its pending litigation.
“The conference agreed to close its investigation, and the university and coach Harbaugh agreed to accept the three-game suspension,” said an official statement from U of M. “Coach Harbaugh, with the university’s support, decided to accept this sanction to return the focus to our student-athletes and their performance on the field.”
The announcement comes following the conference’s suspension of Harbaugh from Michigan’s remaining football games this season. U of M then responded that the conference did not have the authority to suspend Harbaugh from coaching, and filed a request in Washtenaw County for a temporary restraining order against the conference, to allow Harbaugh to coach.
The Big Ten’s suspension of Harbaugh from the remaining regular-season games is a penalty for allegations of sign-stealing within the organization, which the conference ruled violated the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy.
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’s investigation into allegations of sign-stealing.
“The conference has confirmed that it is not aware of any information suggesting coach Harbaugh’s involvement in the allegations. The university continues to cooperate fully with the NCAA’s investigation,” U-M’s statement read.