It looks like football fans hoping for the Big Ten to punish Michigan will have to wait.
Some thought Monday would be the day the conference suspended coach Jim Harbaugh.
While a suspension is still possible, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported Monday morning that no action is expected to be taken “for at least the next 48 hours.”
Don’t expect any action by the Big Ten in the Michigan sign stealing case for at least the next 48 hours, as the league’s sportsmanship rules allow for a “reasonable” chance to respond to an institution or individual. Sources have told ESPN that they’ll be a legal battle if…
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 6, 2023
“The league’s sportsmanship rules allow for a ‘reasonable’ chance to respond to institution or individual,” Thamel tweeted.
Thamel then wrote that, per sources, a “punitive suspension” to Harbaugh would result in a “legal battle.”
This is, of course, in relation to the NCAA’s ongoing investigation of Michigan for illegal sign-stealing.
For Penn State and its fans, this comes at an awfully intriguing time, because Michigan is who the team plays this weekend in Beaver Stadium.
The alleged kingpin in this scandal, former Michigan staffer Connor Stalions, resigned Friday.
Stalions had previously been suspended. After his resignation Friday, ESPN’s Pete Thamel addressed the scandal on College GameDay Saturday. He said that the likely next step for the Big Ten would be punishing Michigan, and the most likely punishment scenario was Harbaugh being suspended. In the meantime, Harbaugh coached Michigan to victory against Purdue.
This is quite a time for Michigan football. On the field, things couldn’t be going much better. The team’s 9-0, No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings and hasn’t lost a regular-season game in more than two years, winning two Big Ten titles and making two playoffs in the meantime. But off the field, things were messy even before this investigation. Harbaugh missed Michigan’s first three games of the season due to a self-imposed suspension stemming from Michigan being investigated for Level II NCAA violations. Michigan won those three games handily, and the team honored Harbaugh during its first offensive drive of the season.
Penn State will be the toughest opponent Michigan’s faced to this point. PSU’s 8-1 and ranked No. 11 by the CFP. The game will also be played away from Ann Arbor, where most of the 107,000+ will have plenty of not-very-nice things to say about Harbaugh, Michigan and the entire situation.