Michigan Football Facing NCAA Investigations
The University of Michigan football program received Notice of Allegations from the NCAA Thursday. The five violations could result in sanctions.
The Most Serious Charge Concerns Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
The most serious charge issued by the NCAA involves head coach Jim Harbaugh, who is accused of lying to investigators looking into contacting recruits during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to an article in The Athletic, the charges include:
Four Level II violations and one Level I violation. The Level I violation, which is considered the most serious by the NCAA, is levied against Harbaugh for providing false or misleading information. The NCAA found that he failed to cooperate with investigators related to a Level II violation regarding contact with two prospects during the COVID-19 dead period.
According to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, a draft of the Notice of Allegations will begin a 90-day process in the case, which if not settled could take months of even years to complete.
The other charges revolve around having to many coaches at practice sessions and watching recruits work out over a video feed.
Most Of The Charges Are Minor But The Level I Charge Could Be Serious
With the annual influx of possible NFL job offers coming Harbaugh's way, is it possible that the coach would flee rather than be hit with sanctions? It's hard to say.
Most experts agree these charges could very easily go away if the NCAA and the school can agree on what punishment they can impose on Harbaugh and his staff.
Harbaugh’s contract allows for the university to terminate him “for cause” if “the NCAA or the Conference, or the University reasonably determines that (i) the Head Coach has committed a material violation of a material provision of the Governing Rules (including without limitation, a Level I or Level II violation of NCAA Rules).”
To reach that standard, however, the full NCAA process, which could take months or years, would likely need to fully play out.
The school could also stand behind the 59-year-old who has led the Wolverines to consecutive Big Ten titles and College Football Playoff appearances. Harbaugh has never before been cited for a Level I violation.
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