After much speculation and investigation of potential alleged illicit sign-stealing of the Michigan Wolverine football program under head coach Jim Harbaugh, which was first announced on Oct. 19, the Big Ten made an official decision to ban him for the remainder of the regular season.
The Big Ten made this decision Friday afternoon as they look to discipline the program under its sportsmanship policy amid the ongoing NCAA investigation into the school's in-person sign-stealing ring of having scouts be in person at opponents' games to take live notes of their play calls.
Harbaugh will only be suspended for games with the first being on Saturday as the Wolverines (9-0) have a critical road game against No.10 Penn State (8-1), but will be allowed to be around the team during practices and other activities during the rest of the week.
The conference said the following in a statement: "conducting an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over multiple years, resulting in an unfair competitive advantage that compromised the integrity of competition,".
A 13-page letter was sent to Michigan’s athletic director Warde Manuel by Big Ten Commissioner Tony Pettiti where he mentioned it was in the best efforts to suspend Harbaugh as a punishment for the University so it would allow them to finish out the remainder of the season while still providing consequences for the team violating Big Ten policies.
Pettiti held many calls with other coaches around the Big Ten who expressed their frustration with Michigan.
The off-campus signal-stealing investigation is the second ongoing NCAA probe involving Michigan with the first coming in January when it was notified of alleged recruiting violations during the COVID-19 dead period. In August, Michigan self-imposed a three-game suspension for Harbaugh to begin the 2023 season, as well as one-game suspensions for offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore and Grant Newsome. The first NCAA investigation of Michigan is expected to be resolved in 2024.