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Thamel: ‘Some Type of Punishment’ Likely for Michigan, Decision on HC Jim Harbaugh Likely Coming in Days Ahead

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 23: Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh catches passes before the college men’s football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Michigan Wolverines on September 23, 2023 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI. (Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire)

ESPN College Football Insider Pete Thamel has been all over the NCAA’s investigation of Michigan football for alleged illegal sign stealing, and Thamel gave an update on today’s episode of College GameDay.

Thamel told GameDay host Reece Davis that the Big Ten and first-year commissioner Tony Petitti can take action on Michigan under the conference’s sportsmanship policy.

“The most telling sign that could happen,” Thamel said, “is that Tony Petitti told his athletic directors this week that he’s been engaged with the NCAA which is an important step in getting the facts set in this case.”

Thamel said that Petitti has spoken with the Big Ten’s athletic directors, coaches, presidents, and that “the next steps appear that there will be some type of punishment” for Michigan football.

The “most likely scenario,” Thamel says, is “some type of suspension for Jim Harbaugh.”

Thamel said he “wouldn’t expect anything to happen today.” Michigan plays Purdue tonight in Ann Arbor, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 on NBC.

But he’s expecting news to come “in the upcoming days.”

“I would expect that we’re going to find out whether or not the Big Ten will punish Jim Harbaugh, how that will be and how long that suspension would be, potentially.”

The alleged ringleader of the operation,  former Michigan staffer Connor Stalions, resigned Friday.

If a suspension is to come down within the next few days, Harbaugh almost certainly wouldn’t be available for next week’s game at Penn State. Michigan comes to Happy Valley for a clash that’s scheduled to kickoff at noon on Fox. If Michigan beats Purdue and Penn State wins at Maryland, there’s a solid chance both teams will be in the top 10.

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