Source – Jim Harbaugh’s refusal delays NCAA case for Michigan – ESPN

Source – Jim Harbaugh’s refusal delays NCAA case for Michigan – ESPN

2:40 p.m. ET

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    Pete Thamel ESPN

The case of NCAA violations in Michigan projects a longer road to resolution after football coach Jim Harbaugh refused to admit he lied to NCAA investigators at several meetings with the NCAA this week, a source told ESPN on Thursday confirmed.

During an attempt to expedite the case and reach a “negotiated settlement,” Harbaugh refused to admit he lied to NCAA investigators, a source confirmed. He has claimed that he does not remember the incident in question, which has led to a standstill in the case.

Yahoo Sports was the first to report those details, including two meetings with the NCAA this week.

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An admission that Harbaugh lied would likely have seen him accept a multigame suspension as he faces a potential NCAA Level I violation. The first Michigan investigation included four Tier II recruiting violations, which are of lesser significance in scope and punishment.

But the potential Level I was added as part of a more serious charge of failure to cooperate with NCAA enforcement personnel, ESPN previously reported.

This presents an interesting standoff between Harbaugh and the NCAA that could potentially drag on for nearly a year according to the typical NCAA enforcement and appeals schedule. For now, there seems little chance of a negotiated settlement, a source told ESPN.

This means Michigan faces the lengthy trial of an NCAA case, with the specter of Harbaugh’s expected multigame suspension likely looming early in the 2024 season. There is little chance that NCAA enforcement will be able to execute the case before the start of the 2023 season.

ESPN corroborated Yahoo’s report that there is essentially an impasse between Harbaugh and the NCAA, as Harbaugh says he does not remember the incident in question and the NCAA insists he lied.

This leaves Michigan facing a violation proceeding that runs counter to the program’s preferred “Michigan Man” image of integrity. Since an undefeated regular season in 2022, a thrashing at Ohio State in Columbus, winning the Big Ten title and losing the college football playoffs to TCU, Michigan has been mired in controversy.

Harbaugh applied for the job with the Denver Broncos, but then told university president Santa Ono — not athletic director Warde Manuel — that he intended to stay. The announcement that Harbaugh was staying came from Ono’s Twitter feed, fueling the notion that there was a rift between Harbaugh and Manuel. Harbaugh doubled down on this by mentioning Ono by name in his testimony and omitting Manuel.

Although Harbaugh’s return has been celebrated, nothing new has emerged contractually to back up the words.

Along with the NCAA drama and Harbaugh’s annual dance with the NFL, Michigan co-offensive coordinator Matt Weiss has furloughed amid a police investigation into a “computer access crime report” at the team’s football facility. Weiss’ future with the program is uncertain, and he told ESPN that he is fully cooperating with the legal investigation.