Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh agrees to serve 3-game ban, Big Ten drops sign-stealing investigation

 

The University of Michigan and the Big Ten Conference came to an agreement on Thursday and avoided any chance of going to a courtroom ahead of the Wolverines’ football game on Saturday.

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh agreed to accept his three-game ban, which canceled a hearing that was set for Friday on whether he could be on the sidelines.

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“This morning, the University, Coach Harbaugh and the Big Ten resolved their pending litigation,” the school said. “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.”

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The Big Ten released a separate statement as it agreed to stop its investigation into an alleged sign-stealing scheme.

“The Big Ten Conference’s commitment to student-athletes, sportsmanship and the Commissioner’s duty to protect the integrity of competition will never waver. Today’s decision by the University of Michigan to withdraw its legal challenge against the Conference’s November 10th Notice of Disciplinary Action is indicative of the high standards and values that the Conference and the University seek to uphold. The University of Michigan is a valued member of the Big Ten Conference and the Conference will continue to work cooperatively with the University and the NCAA during this process,” it said.

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Harbaugh was suspended last Friday by the conference. Michigan later sought an injunction and temporary restraining order. The restraining order wasn’t ruled upon and Harbaugh missed the team’s win over Penn State.

The two sides were expected in court Friday as Harbaugh sought a chance to possibly coach the Wolverines as they look to notch the program’s 1,000th victory.

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Instead, he will miss the final two games of the regular season. Michigan plays Maryland on Saturday and wraps with Ohio State next week.

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