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Michigan receives Notice of Allegations from NCAA, Level I violation for Jim Harbaugh

The Wolverines might be in trouble, but how that affects Jim Harbaugh’s status is unknown.

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Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines is seen on the sideline during the second half against the TCU Horned Frogs in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium on December 31, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines look like they’ll have Jim Harbaugh back in 2023, but there might be a cloud under his leadership according to Nicole Auerbach at The Athletic.

In NCAA-ese, the Level I violations are the “felonious” crimes, and hindering an investigation is the thing the Indianapolis investigators tend to dislike the most. Penalties can range from suspension to a “show-cause” penalty, which makes anyone sanctioned persona non grata at any NCAA school but the one for whom they presently work for a designated period of time.

From The Athletic:

The school source believes that the NCAA violations are relatively minor infractions — one includes an analyst coaching players and another involves text messages that violated NCAA rules — but that the investigation also centers on the program’s response to such violations. Three sources who have knowledge of the investigation confirmed it included self-reported violations involving an analyst coaching players on the field. It is unclear what the punishment from the NCAA would be.

If you have an analyst coaching on a field, that’s not great but if you self-report it there’s not much of a penalty at all. If you lie about it to investigators however, then you’ve got a whole other set of problems. If that’s what happened here, Harbaugh could get tarred with the more serious crime that might hurt him personally, as well as bring sanctions to the program.

Remember the NCAA can’t really investigate NFL coaches, so if Harbaugh does make a move to the NFL as has been rumored, a lot of this might just go away for the Wolverines. And as always with the NCAA, even under the new expedited investigation process, these things tend to take awhile.