University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh has been BANNED from the sidelines for the remainder of the regular season amid sign-stealing scandal, while Wolverines say they are ‘appalled’ by Big Ten ruling
- Jim Harbaugh has denied any knowledge of or involvement in the scandal
- Ex-employee Connor Stalion refused to cooperate in the investigation
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Jim Harbaugh has been banned from the sidelines for the remainder of the regular season as the Michigan football program is investigated for sign stealing, the Big Ten said.
The NCAA is investigating Michigan for allegedly sending former staffer Connor Stalion, and possibly other personnel, to opponents’ games to record video that would be used to decode their in-game signals.
And the Big Ten announced Friday that Harbaugh will now be banned from coaching on the sidelines until the postseason, calling the school “in violation of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy for conducting an impermissible, in-person scouting operation for several years.” . ‘, according to a press release.
No. 2 Michigan plays Penn State this weekend with three regular season games remaining.
Harbaugh will be allowed to coach practices during the week, although the Big Ten made it clear “he will not be at the game site” of Michigan games on game day.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has reportedly been given a sideline ban for the regular season
Connor Stalion is said to have refused to cooperate in any internal or external investigation
The coach has denied any knowledge or involvement in unauthorized scouting of opponents.
Michigan responded with a statement The Athletics, saying, “Like all members of the Big Ten Conference, we are entitled to a fair, deliberate and thoughtful process to determine the full set of facts before making a judgment. Today’s action by Commissioner Tony Petitti ignores the Conference’s own handbook, violates the basic principles of due process, and sets an untenable precedent for imposing sanctions before an investigation is completed.
“We are appalled by the commissioner’s haste to judge when there is an ongoing NCAA investigation – an investigation in which we are fully cooperating.”
The statement continued: “By taking this action at this hour, the Commissioner is personally sidelining himself and altering the level playing field he claims to maintain.”
In an earlier statement to The Athletic, Stallions’ attorney said his client chose to resign because stories about him have been a distraction for the Wolverines.
However, a person with knowledge of the situation initially told AP that Stalion, who had been suspended with pay, had been fired.
Photos circulated online suggesting Conor Stallions was on the Central Michigan sideline
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because Michigan does not make public internal personnel movements, also said Stalion did not show up for a scheduled hearing and informed the school through his attorney that he would not participate in any internal or external investigations.
Stalions was listed as a recruiting analyst for Michigan.
Multiple Big Ten schools have reportedly found records of tickets purchased in Stalion’s name for their games and surveillance video of the people sitting in those seats pointing their cellphones at the field.
Photos online suggest Stalion was on the Central Michigan sideline during the game against Michigan State in September, wearing CMU gear and sunglasses.