Jim Harbaugh's Punishment For Recruiting Violations Determined: Report

By Jason Hall

July 25, 2023

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Michigan v TCU
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Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh is reportedly negotiating with the NCAA on a resolution that will result in him serving a four-game suspension in relation to alleged false statements he made to investigators during an investigation into recruiting violations committed by himself and the program, sources with knowledge of the situation told Yahoo Sports' Ross Dellenger on Tuesday (July 25).

The agreement is said to be an initial version of a not yet finalized resolution, which must be approved by the NCAA Committee on Infractions, a process that could take up to several weeks, with the committee having the authority to adjust penalties levied against Harbaugh and Michigan. The Wolverines will host their first four games of the 2023 season, which includes three games against Group of Five teams (East Carolina, UNLV and Bowling Green) and a Big Ten Conference matchup against Rutgers, which finished last in the Big Ten East in 2022, on September 23. The NCAA investigated alleged violations committed Harbaugh and the Michigan football team during the COVID-19 recruiting dead period, ESPN's Adam Rittenberg and Mark Schlabach announced in January.

The Wolverines faced allegations of impermissible contact with recruits during the NCAA-mandated dead periods, as well as designating a defensive analyst for on-field coaching activities, which violates NCAA rules. Sources also said Harbaugh's cooperation during the investigation was also examined and the coach was expected to face various penalties.

Michigan was also reported to potentially face Level II violations based on impermissible recruiting contact during the COVID period, a source confirmed to ESPN. The Wolverines are coming off two of their best seasons since Harbaugh -- a former Michigan quarterback -- took over as the head coach of his alma mater in 2015.

Michigan won the Big Ten and appeared in the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive year before being eliminated by TCU in a 51-45 loss on December 31. Harbaugh had publicly announced his intention to stay with the Wolverines in January amid reported potential interest from NFL teams prior to ESPN's report.

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