Jim Harbaugh will be suspended the first four games of Michigan’s season. During this stretch the Wolverines will take on ECU, UNLV, Bowling Green, and Rutgers all of which are at home. The original offense was that Jim Harbaugh had two recruits on campus during a Covid dead period and took them out to lunch at an Ann Arbor bar/grill. The NCAA investigated and Harbaugh played the “I don’t recall” card when asked if he paid for their meal. Even in the world of NIL, paying for a recruits meal at a restaurant is still illegal despite how strange it sounds.
Jim Harbaugh is a stubborn man. There is no doubt he looked at this entire investigation as a farce. He bought two already committed recruits bar food and this instigated a NCAA investigation in a world where there are million dollar NIL deals, and possible tampering in the transfer portal. The other detail of this report is if the recruits came to campus on their own. Whether they were invited or not the majority of the punishment stems from Jim’s cooperation.
When the investigation was taking place, Harbaugh gave them nothing and made the NCAA’s life harder. If he would’ve admitted to the violations, the program is probably just on a short probation. Harbaugh took offense to the investigation, upset that other programs are recruiting similarly (or worse) and don’t have the NCAA sniffing around. The suspension comes from Harbaugh’s reluctancy to comply. He basically told the NCAA to “shove it”, and they slapped a level 1 violation for obstructing an investigation. Jim Harbaugh broke rules and there should be consequences, but this all seems a excessive given the current state of College Football recruiting.