When information surfaced that the NCAA was investigating the Michigan Football program and head coach Jim Harbaugh it sounded extreme.
A possible suspension for Harbaugh, a Level I violation doubtlessly being thrown his approach for allegedly mendacity or deceptive investigators.
Everything since hasn’t handed the sniff take a look at.
For starters, Michigan self-reported these violations to the NCAA.
The NCAA’s draft discover of allegations claims Harbaugh met with two recruits in the course of the COVID-19 lifeless interval and recruited a recruit exterior of an allowable time interval. Other allegations embody having an analyst carry out on-field teaching duties throughout follow and having coaches watch gamers work out on Zoom.
Michigan is not disputing that Level II violations occurred, which are not practically as severe. The most important concern is the NCAA’s pursuit of Level I penalties towards Harbaugh.
Where do issues stand now? It appears like Harbaugh will combat tooth and nail in relation to the NCAA calling him a liar.
Per Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel, Harbaugh has refused to signal any doc or publicly state that he was ever untruthful with the enforcement workers.
Harbaugh “has maintained he didn’t recall the occasions when first talking with investigators however that he was by no means purposefully dishonest.”
Two conferences reportedly occurred this week between Harbaugh and the NCAA, and as Wetzel put it, battle traces have been drawn. Here’s a breakdown of the place issues stand after the conferences.
- The NCAA and Harbaugh held agency and refused to again down from their positions.
- The NCAA stated Harbaugh lied.
- Harbaugh stated he merely forgot in any other case insignificant actions. An deadlock resulted.
- Harbaugh is not anticipated to again down and would seemingly mount a ferocious protection towards any allegation he purposely lied.
The NCAA needs Harbaugh to blink and he isn’t going to.
The state of affairs is weird contemplating that a part of the offense is rumored to be as a result of Harbaugh took two recruits for cheeseburgers at The Brown Jug, a hole-in-the-wall joint that is not extravagant and will be outlined as blue-collar.
There’s no indication Harbaugh ever denied he met with recruits, and never recalling one thing is quite a bit totally different than being on the report and saying a flat-out falsehood. With the variety of recruits Harbaugh speaks with and meets with on an annual foundation, not instantly recalling one thing like this is not the smoking gun the NCAA is making it out to be. It appears like a giant and tasteless nothing burger.
Wetzel says the NCAA doesn’t have detailed proof that Harbaugh knowingly lied. The NCAA both lacks that info or it merely does not exist.
It certain sounds just like the NCAA does not have something on Harbaugh to put a Level I violation down on him, but they need him to dig his personal grave with an request for forgiveness. Did Harbaugh’s motion or lack of recollection create a serious aggressive benefit for the soccer program? That’s a giant no.
What’s additionally in favor of Harbaugh is who’s reportedly representing him on this matter, Tom Mars.
Mars has challenged the NCAA and its energy construction on a number of events, and it finally ends with the NCAA altering course and strolling away in defeat with its tail between its legs. In latest years, nobody has been an even bigger and extra justifiable thorn within the aspect of the NCAA than Mars.
The NCAA’s bloodlust for Harbaugh comes at a time when there are many egregious issues taking place that they are not actively investigating. For instance:
- Florida quarterback recruit Jaden Rashada requested a launch from his nationwide letter of intent after a $13 million identify, picture, and likeness deal fell by way of. The deal, organized with the Gator Collective, may result in Rashada suing the collective and the athletic division. The NCAA has been reluctant to manage NIL and has been attempting to move the buck to congress. Rashada’s state of affairs is a symptom of the NCAA’s incompetence.
- Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi claimed two colleges supplied North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye $5 million in NIL cash to switch. Maye is staying at UNC, by no means entered the switch portal, and any contact from exterior colleges would violate NCAA guidelines and could be thought of tampering. Yet the Harbaugh story is the one dominating the headlines? Great job, NCAA. Great work.
We’ll see how lengthy the NCAA stands its floor going after Harbaugh. The floor they’re standing on actually looks like quicksand. The NCAA is embarrassing itself, and the earlier they modify course the higher. The NCAA is a joke proper now, a punchline, and maybe Harbaugh defending himself is the fact examine the NCAA wants.