- Jim Harbaugh has denied any knowledge or involvement in the scandal
- Ex-staffer Connor Stalions declined to cooperate with investigation
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Jim Harbaugh has been banned from the sidelines for the rest of the regular season as Michigan’s football program is investigated for sign stealing, the Big Ten said.
The NCAA is investigating Michigan for allegedly sending now-former staffer Connor Stalions, and possibly other staff, to opponents’ games to record video that would be used to decode their in-game signals.
And the Big Ten announced Friday that Harbaugh will now be prohibited from coaching on the sideline until the postseason, with the school found to be ‘in violation of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy for conducting an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over multiple years,’ a press release said.
No. 2 Michigan plays Penn State this weekend and has three regular season games remaining.
Harbaugh will be allowed to coach practices during the week, though the Big Ten clarified ‘he shall not be present at the game venue’ of Michigan contests on gameday.
The coach has denied any knowledge or involvement in impermissible scouting of opponents.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has reportedly received a sideline ban for the regular season
Connor Stalions allegedly refused to cooperate with any internal or external investigations
Michigan responded with a statement, saying, ‘Like all members of the Big Ten Conference, we are entitled to a fair, deliberate, and thoughtful process to determine the full set of facts before a judgement is rendered. Today’s action by Commissioner Tony Petitti disregards the Conference’s own handbook, violates basic tenets of due process, and sets an untenable precedent of assessing penalties before an investigation has been completed.
‘We are dismayed at the Commissioner’s rush to judgement when there is an ongoing NCAA investigation – one in which we are fully cooperating.’
In a statement to The Athletic, Stallions’ attorney said his client chose to resign because stories about him have created a distraction for the Wolverines, who host Penn State this weekend.
However, a person with knowledge of the situation initially told AP that Stalions, who was suspended with pay, had been fired.
Photos circulated online, suggesting Conor Stallions was on the Central Michigan sidelines
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because Michigan is not disclosing internal personnel moves publicly, also said Stalions failed to show up for a scheduled hearing and informed the school through his attorney he would not participate in any internal or external investigations.
Stalions was listed as a recruiting analyst for Michigan.
Multiple Big Ten schools have reportedly found records of tickets purchased in Stalions’ name to their games and surveillance video of the people sitting in those seats pointing cell phones toward the field.
Photos on the internet suggest Stalions was on the Central Michigan sideline during the September game against Michigan State, wearing CMU gear and sunglasses.