FILE – Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh gestures during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football semifinal playoff game against TCU, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. Michigan faces Ohio State on Nov. 25, 2023. This becomes huge if both the Buckeyes and Wolverines get past Big Ten title contender No. 7 Penn State. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
The Big Ten Conference will end its investigation into the alleged sign-stealing scheme as part of the agreement to resolve the school’s lawsuit against the league.
“This morning, the University, Coach Harbaugh, and the Big Ten resolved their pending litigation,” according to a statement from the University of Michigan. “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’s investigation.”
Harbaugh was suspended last Friday by the Big Ten and Michigan hours later asked a court for an injunction and temporary restraining order. The restraining order was not ruled upon and Harbaugh did not coach the team against Penn State on Saturday.
The two sides were expected in court Friday in Michigan, but instead, Harbaugh will serve out the remainder of the suspension, missing games against Maryland on Saturday and chief rival Ohio State on Nov. 25.
The dispute began in September and the allegations leaked day by day, with it becoming clear the Wolverines did not want their undefeated season derailed by an unfinished investigation of activities it says Harbaugh knew nothing about and are not unheard of across college football.
The Big Ten, however, said the school had violated its sportsmanship policy by conducting “an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over multiple years” that resulted in “an unfair competitive advantage that compromised the integrity of competition.”
Harbaugh had previously denied any knowledge of an improper scouting scheme in his program.
The NCAA’s investigation into sign-stealing accusations remains ongoing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.