Harbaugh Suspension Stands, Court Hearing Canceled
This just in.
Well, because you probably weren't monitoring this site 24/7, it was "just in" at 1:15 p.m. Pacific Time, Thursday, November 16, 2023. But it will remain interesting until the next item drops regarding this ongoing saga.
So, on to the big news:
A scheduled court hearing for Friday morning was canceled.
“This morning, the University, Coach Harbaugh and the Big Ten resolved their pending litigation,” a Michigan statement read. “The Conference agreed to close its investigation, and the University and Coach Harbaugh agreed to accept the three-game suspension.
“Coach Harbaugh, with the University’s support, decided to accept this sanction to return the focus to our student-athletes and their performance on the field. The Conference has confirmed that it is not aware of any information suggesting Coach Harbaugh’s involvement in the allegations. The University continues to cooperate fully with the NCAA investigation.”
Before that revelaton Thursday, Harbaugh was busy sucking the air out of, ah, wherever he stood.
Unbeaten on the field, but embattled nonetheless, Harbaugh thinks his Wolverines should be America’s Team because they ”beat the odds. . .adversity. . . overcame naysayers and so-called experts.”
This declaration beckons the famous retort of ESPN’s College GameDay mega-show host Lee Corso.
“Not so fast. . . .”
Corso’s fellow ESPN talk show host Paul Finebaum certainly took that contrarian position after hearing Harbaugh.
“I found it sad and pathetic,” Finebaum said Monday on ESPN's SportsCenter. “Why? Because this isn’t America’s team. This isn’t what America’s about. Here we are, just days removed from Veterans Day, where we honor people who are really representative of America. This team is not representative of anything other than a program accused of cheating. Cheating.”
Harbaugh was suspended for three games on Nov. 9 after the Big Ten contended Michigan violated the conference's sportsmanship policy for sign-stealing. Harbaugh fired back during his Monday news conference.
“This has gotta be America's team,” Harbaugh said during his Monday news conference. “America loves a team that beats the odds, beats the adversity, overcomes what the naysayers, critics, so-called experts think. That's my favorite kind of team.”
Without Harbaugh on the sideline, No. 3 Michigan (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) defeated No. 10 Penn State (8-2, 5-2) on Saturday, 24-15, with offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore serving as interim head coach. Harbaugh is allowed to attend practices and team activities but cannot be present on game days.
Finebaum was more depressed than impressed.
“Trying to steal signs to gain an unfair advantage, that’s not the way this country was built and that’s not what should be described as America’s team,” he said.
“Ohio State is a much better program overall. It's got tremendous tradition...It's just not that big of a deal. They take themselves so seriously up there.”
Before the cancellation, a judge in Ann Arbor was scheduled to hear arguments on whether to grant a temporary restraining order to lift the suspension. The high-stakes showdown, with Harbaugh as the headliner, already overshadowed his undefeated team’s next battle on the field — the Wolverines attempt to secure the 1,000th victory in program history, Saturday, against Maryland — and became a cause célèbre among U-M diehards.
But what else is new during a season when the games played by a national-championship contender took a backseat to the incessant drama surrounding Harbaugh, a man banned twice from the sideline in the past three months by two different entities?
Yep, even with Harbaugh bowing down and accepting the suspension, the story is about him. Seems it was always so.
He is a great coach, but...whatever teams that might be considering him – hello NFL’s Washington and Las Vegas – must remember he is a package deal.