Michigan has received an NCAA notice of allegations outlining potential violations involving Jim Harbaugh’s football program, a school source said Athletic Thursday night. Here’s what you need to know:
- Michigan faced four second-degree violations and one first-degree violation. A Class I violation is considered the most serious violation by the NCAA, and Harbaugh was fined for providing false or misleading information. The NCAA found him failing to cooperate with investigators in a Class II violation involving contact with two potential clients during the COVID-19 deaths.
- Violations included impermissible contact during a COVID-19 death and self-reported violations for inappropriate use of analysts for on-site instruction. These violations are considered minor violations.
- The notice of charges comes as Harbaugh’s future at Michigan is in doubt. Harbaugh issued a statement Thursday reiterating his intention to coach at Michigan through 2023, despite multiple sources close to Harbaugh telling Athletic Harbaugh could take the NFL job if offered this offseason.
- Harbaugh, 59, went 74-25 to two Big Ten titles in eight seasons at his alma mater and has played in the College Football Playoff the past two seasons.
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What does this mean for Harbaugh’s future at Michigan?
While Harbaugh said he expects to coach Michigan in 2023, sources close to Harbaugh said the NCAA issues could affect his decision to take the NFL job, if any.
Harbaugh’s contract requires him to abide by NCAA rules and report any violations to athletic director Warde Manuel or the Michigan Office of Compliance. Harbaugh also needs to cooperate fully with universities to “create, educate, investigate and enforce” the rules. The NCAA allegations must be addressed in any conversation about extending Harbaugh’s contract at Michigan.
The Class I charges against Harbaugh, while serious, likely won’t break Michigan’s deal. Harbaugh was not sanctioned for performance reasons, and the university was not charged with a “lack of institutional control.” It is possible that the school and Harbaugh could agree on satisfactory disciplinary action and be able to move forward together.
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