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Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh 3-game suspension NCAA recruiting violations

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh will serve a three-game suspension for NCAA recruiting infractions, self-imposed by the university.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will not be on the sideline for the first three games of the upcoming season due to a self-imposed suspension as a result of NCAA recruiting violations. The suspension, announced on Monday, means Harbaugh will miss the home games against East Carolina, UNLV, and Bowling Green. However, he will still be allowed to coach the team during the week, in accordance with NCAA rules.

Warde Manuel, Michigan's athletic director, stated that the announcement was made to address the mistakes made by the department and to cooperate with the ongoing NCAA process. Manuel expressed continued support for Harbaugh, his coaching staff, and the student-athletes. Due to NCAA guidelines, further comments on the matter will be withheld until it is resolved.

Michigan will announce interim coaching appointments at a later date to fill in for Harbaugh during his suspension. In response to the situation, Harbaugh released a statement saying he will remain focused on improvement and not let bitterness affect his approach.

Under Harbaugh's leadership, the Wolverines have achieved considerable success, including two consecutive Big Ten championships and appearances in the College Football Playoff. Harbaugh, an alumnus of Michigan, has a record of 74-25 in his eight seasons as head coach.

Initially, Michigan proposed a four-game suspension as part of a negotiated resolution with the NCAA enforcement staff. However, reports suggest that the NCAA committee on infractions rejected this proposal. The NCAA released a statement in response to these reports, emphasizing that the case involves impermissible recruiting activities during the COVID-19 dead period and coaching violations, not a cheeseburger. The statement also clarified that the committee may seek clarification on key facts and reject an agreement if it is not in the best interest of the Association or if the penalties are deemed unreasonable.

The mention of a cheeseburger refers to speculation among Michigan fans that the alleged infractions were related to coaches paying for a recruit's meal during a dead-period visit.

It should be noted that Michigan's self-imposed penalty does not conclude the case, and it remains unclear whether the school has received an official notice of allegations from the NCAA. Without a negotiated resolution, the case will proceed to the committee on infractions, which could take several months to reach a ruling. Self-imposed penalties are often used by schools to demonstrate cooperation with the NCAA and mitigate potential damages.

The investigation focused on impermissible texts and calls, including some made by Harbaugh, to high school prospects during a dead period. The NCAA also examined whether a member of Michigan's off-field football staff violated rules by engaging in on-the-field coaching during practice.

The status of the penalties proposed for offensive coordinator and line coach Sherrone Moore and tight ends coach Grant Newsome is also uncertain.

Throughout the investigation, Harbaugh maintained his stance of not agreeing to an unethical conduct charge for withholding information. He has shown loyalty to Michigan despite flirtations with NFL opportunities following successful postseason runs.

In summary, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh will serve a three-game suspension at the start of the season due to self-imposed penalties for NCAA recruiting violations. The suspension will not prevent him from coaching the team during the week. Michigan's athletic director expressed support for Harbaugh and the student-athletes, while emphasizing the need to address the mistakes made. The NCAA committee on infractions reportedly declined a proposed negotiated resolution, and the case may take months to reach a final ruling. The investigation centered around impermissible communication with recruits and potential coaching violations. The status of additional penalties for assistant coaches is unclear. Harbaugh has remained committed to Michigan despite NFL opportunities.

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