Michigan Football has officially sent a response to Big Ten Conference officials following its notice of disciplinary action, and conference commissioner Tony Petitti will now make a decision concerning potential punishment for the Wolverines’ football program.
On3Sports reported that Michigan is bracing for coach Jim Harbaugh to be suspended.
— Chris Balas (@Balas_Wolverine) November 9, 2023
The decision comes in the wake of the NCAA investigation regarding off-campus scouting and signal stealing allegations that were carried out by now-resigned Michigan staff member Connor Stalions.
Petitti and fellow officials sent the University its notice as part of the sportsmanship policy regarding the possibility of being subjected to penalties. A response by Petitti is expected to be made Thursday, according to a report by ESPN. Harbaugh would be at the forefront when receiving potential punishment.
Michigan’s response to the Big Ten urged Petitti to respect due process and argued that a sanction, at this stage of the investigation process, would break the league’s bylaws. This statement gave the inclination that possible legal action will be taken by the University if Harbaugh is suspended as a result of the penalties or other sanctions are laid down.
The contents of the letter, which were first reported by Yahoo! Sports, also suggested that the Big Ten should be cautious about the precedent it sets in this case, as Michigan believes in-person scouting and other thoughts to steal signals is more prevalent than before.
The letter was put together with input from the university’s Board of Regents and General Counsel’s office, as well as Washington D.C.-based firm Williams & Connolly.
Petitti and conference officials are also being pressured by several state legislators, who warned Petitti that if the Big Ten rushes to judgment or engages in any “ill-considered actions,” they will support the University through the legal process.