Michigan has issued a self-imposed three-game suspension on head football coach Jim Harbaugh to start the 2023 season. The suspension stems from an NCAA investigation alleging various violations committed during a dead period related to COVID-19.
There could be additional punishment coming for Harbaugh from the NCAA, which has also alleged that he wasn’t truthful with investigators – a Level-I violation – upon their initial meeting with him to question him about potential Level-II violations.
Any further punishment from the NCAA isn’t likely to be announced until 2024, and this move by the university is an attempt to lessen whatever future penalties could be coming.
“While the ongoing NCAA matter continues through the NCAA process, today’s announcement is our way of addressing mistakes that our department has agreed to in an attempt to further that process,” athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. “We will continue to support coach Harbaugh, his staff, and our outstanding student-athletes. Per the NCAA’s guidelines, we cannot comment further until the matter is resolved.”
Harbaugh also issued a statement through the school: “I will continue to do what I always tell our players and my kids at home, ‘Don’t get bitter, get better.'”
Harbaugh will be allowed to coach the team throughout the week ahead of the Wolverines’ first three home games. They open the season at The Big House vs. East Carolina, vs. UNLV and vs. Bowling Green.
Many believe Harbaugh, who is 59 and led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl back in 2012, is looking to head back to the NFL after his ninth season at his alma mater in Ann Arbor.
Obviously, the hope is that he can take Michigan to a third consecutive appearance in the College Football Playoff and win a national title on his way out the door.
FanDuel has Michigan with the fourth-shortest odds (+850) to win the CFP. The Wolverines have +120 odds to win the Big Ten East and +180 odds to win the Big Ten Championship Game for the third season in a row. They have a season win total of 10.5 (‘over’ -148, ‘under’ +120).