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Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh out as court doesn’t intervene

Field Level Media

November 11, 2023 at 4:04 pm.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh will not coach the No. 3 Wolverines at Penn State on Saturday, despite the school’s request for a court order to allow him to do so, ESPN reported.

On Friday, the Big Ten banned Harbaugh from coaching on the sidelines for the final three games of the regular season, saying in a letter to the school that the Wolverines had violated the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy by conducting in-person scouting that led to stealing signs.

Later in the day, Michigan and Harbaugh filed paperwork seeking an emergency temporary restraining order in Washtenaw County (Mich.) Circuit Court that, if granted, would have allowed Harbaugh to take the field against No. 11 Penn State in a crucial Big Ten showdown.

The court did not make a ruling, however, and scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. ET next Friday, ESPN reported. Harbaugh will be allowed to prepare the team on campus throughout the week, however.

“We look forward to presenting our case next week where we intend to demonstrate that the Big Ten has not acted legally or fairly,” Michigan said in a statement Saturday.

As the Wolverines (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) arrived at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pa., on Saturday, Harbaugh was not on the bus. Instead, he was sequestered away from the team, waiting to learn whether the court would intercede and allow him to rush to the field for the game.

Offensive coordinator Sherron Moore will lead the Wolverines on Saturday in place of Harbaugh.

Under the conference ruling, Harbaugh may attend practices and other football team activities, but he may not be present at the games. The conference acknowledged it had no evidence yet that Harbaugh directed the sign stealing or other unallowed acts.

“This is not a sanction of Coach Harbaugh,” the conference said. “It is a sanction against the University that, under the extraordinary circumstances presented by this offensive conduct, best fits the violation because: (1) it preserves the ability of the University’s football student-athletes to continue competing; and (2) it recognizes that the Head Coach embodies the University for purposes of its football program.”

In a statement issued Oct. 19, Harbaugh denied any involvement in stealing signs.

“I do not have any knowledge or information regarding the University of Michigan football program illegally stealing signals, nor have I directed staff members or others to participate in an off-campus scouting assignment,” he said.

“I have no awareness of anyone on our staff having done that or having directed that action.”

So far, only former staff member Connor Stalions has been tied to allegations of in-person scouting and sign stealing.

Michigan suspended Stalions with pay on Oct. 20, pending the outcome of the investigation, and he resigned on Nov. 3. Stalions has refused to cooperate with both internal and external investigations since then, ESPN and The Athletic reported last week.

Michigan is set to face Maryland on the road on Nov. 18 and end the regular season with No. 1-ranked Ohio State at home the following week.

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