Michigan will seek TRO to allow Jim Harbaugh to coach vs. Penn State
At a moment when it appeared Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh might evade Big Ten sanctions, the league announced its decision to suspend Harbaugh for the rest of the regular season. In response, Michigan has now confirmed its intent to seek a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to permit Harbaugh to coach Saturday's game against Penn State.
Statement from Michigan
Here is the University of Michigan's statement regarding the Big Ten suspending Harbaugh for the Wolverines' final three regular season games.
“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 judgment is rendered. Today's action by Commissioner Tony Petitti, disregards the conferences on handbook, violates, basic tenants of due process, and such an untenable president of assessing penalties before an investigation has been completed. We are dismayed at the Commissioner's rush to judgment, when there is an ongoing NCAA investigation – one in which we are fully cooperating.
“Commissioner Petitti's hasty action today suggest that this is more about reacting to pressure from other conference members. They desire to apply the rules fairly and impartially. By taking this action at this hour, the Commissioner is personally inserting himself onto the sidelines and altering the level playing field that he is claiming to preserve. And, doing so on Veterans Day – a court holiday – to try and thought the University from seeking immediate judicial release, is hardly a profile in impartiality. To ensure fairness in the process we intend to seek a court order together with Coach Harbaugh, preventing this disciplinary action from taking effect.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Big Ten Conference has announced a suspension for Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh for the remaining games of the regular season. This decision comes amidst ongoing investigations into violations within the Michigan football program.
- In response to this suspension, the University of Michigan has expressed its intention to seek a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). This legal action aims to allow Harbaugh to continue coaching, particularly for the upcoming game against Penn State.
- Michigan's statement criticizes the Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti‘s decision as premature and a violation of due process. The university alleges that the action was taken under pressure from other conference members and that it disrupts the fairness and impartiality of the ongoing NCAA investigation.
Bottom Line: The War Has Started
The unfolding situation at Michigan, with the intended pursuit of a TRO to counteract Jim Harbaugh‘s suspension, highlights a complex clash between institutional processes and the principles of due process in collegiate sports. Michigan's forceful response, questioning the impartiality and timing of the Big Ten's decision, underscores the high stakes involved, not just for the football program but for the broader landscape of collegiate athletics governance. It will be VERY interesting to see if Harbaugh ends up on the sideline for Saturday's game against Penn State.