Michigan's coach, Jim Harbaugh, has been prohibited from participating in the last three regular-season games due to accusations of stealing signs. This news was reported by WRALSportsFan.com.

Michigan’s coach, Jim Harbaugh, has been prohibited from participating in the last three regular-season games due to accusations of stealing signs. This news was reported by WRALSportsFan.com.

Rewritten: Written by Ralph D. Russo, an AP writer covering college football.

On Friday, the Big Ten Conference prohibited Jim Harbaugh from coaching at the last three regular-season games for Michigan. This was in spite of a warning from the second-ranked Wolverines, resulting in an unusual conflict over accusations of a sign-stealing plot that has caused uproar in the world of college football.

Less than a day before the Wolverines’ challenging game against No. 9 Penn State, Harbaugh received disciplinary action from the conference. His team (9-0) has the opportunity to secure their third consecutive Big Ten title and potentially claim the school’s first national championship since 1997.

The aircraft from Michigan arrived in Pennsylvania just before the announcement was made. A statement was released mocking the decision.

The school stated that, as a part of the Big Ten Conference, they deserve a fair and thorough process to uncover all the facts before any decisions are made. They believe that the decision made by Commissioner Tony Petitti goes against the conference’s guidelines and disregards the principles of due process. This sets a concerning precedent of giving punishments before an investigation is finished.

The head coach, Harbaugh, has stated that he was not aware of any unauthorized scouting methods being used in his program. The University of Michigan issued a warning this week, stating that they would consider legal action if the conference penalized the program without a thorough investigation. Both the NCAA and the Big Ten are currently investigating the allegations.

Obtaining a court order may pose a challenge prior to Saturday’s match. Friday is a federally recognized holiday for Veteran’s Day, and the courts were closed. Michigan acknowledged this in their response.

“We plan to obtain a court order, along with Coach Harbaugh, to prevent this disciplinary action from being implemented in order to maintain fairness in the procedure,” the statement read.

The Big Ten announced that the school had breached its sportsmanship guidelines by carrying out an unauthorized, in-person scouting activity over several years. This action gave them an unjust competitive edge and undermined the integrity of the competition. As a consequence, the Big Ten has ruled that Michigan must not have their coach, Harbaugh, present for their upcoming game against the Nittany Lions (8-1), as well as next week’s game against Maryland and the highly-anticipated annual match against rival and No. 3 Ohio State in two weeks. Harbaugh is still allowed to attend practices and other team events, but he is not permitted to be physically present at the game location.

This type of conflict between a conference and one of its long-standing members is unprecedented. The disagreement started three weeks ago and the accusations became public gradually. It is evident that the Wolverines are determined to protect their perfect record from being disrupted by an ongoing investigation into actions that their coach, Harbaugh, claims to have no knowledge of. These types of situations are not uncommon in college football.

Michigan claims to be working with the NCAA, who does not prohibit sign-stealing, but does have regulations against scouting opponents in person and using electronic devices to steal signs. The accusations against Michigan imply a much more extensive method of obtaining signs.

The low-level staffer at the center of the investigation, Connor Stalions, resigned last week. Through his attorney, Stalions said that, to his knowledge, none of the Michigan coaches told anyone to break rules or were aware of improper conduct when it came to advance scouting.

The investigation by the NCAA is expected to extend beyond the current season. The regulations of the Big Ten permit for faster measures to be taken, and coaches and athletic directors within the league urged Petitti to enforce penalties on Michigan using conference rules regarding sportsmanship and fair competition.

Several Big Ten universities discovered that tickets for their games in the past three years were bought under the name “Stalions.” Likewise, tickets for the last two Southeastern Conference championship games were also purchased under the same name. The Big Ten schools have also shared with the NCAA video footage from their surveillance cameras, showing individuals in those seats with cellphones aimed at the field.

Earlier this season, Harbaugh was suspended for three games by the school due to an ongoing NCAA investigation regarding recruiting. In his nine seasons as the Wolverines’ head coach, he has a total record of 80 wins and 25 losses, with a 59-17 record in Big Ten games.

The disciplinary measures taken by the Big Ten may prompt Harbaugh to pursue another coaching opportunity in the NFL. He had attempted to return to the league after the 2021 season.

Michigan has accused other schools of sign-stealing. According to a former employee at a Big Ten football program, whose job was to steal signs, he received information from several conference schools prior to their game against Michigan. He then created a spreadsheet of the Wolverines’ play-calling signals from last year. The individual requested anonymity when speaking with The Associated Press, as he was concerned about how this could affect his coaching future.

According to the individual, they also shared screenshots of text conversations with employees from several Big Ten football teams with the Wolverines. This was done as evidence that other teams in the conference were working together to steal signals from Harbaugh’s team.

Last week, he mentioned that he provided Michigan with extra information in the hopes of aiding Harbaugh’s struggling program. He also expressed his belief that the head coach and his assistants are being wrongly accused for the misconduct of a single staff member.

Larry Lage, a sports writer for the Associated Press, provided contributions to this article.

Source: wralsportsfan.com