According to Jim Harbaugh’s statement released on Thursday afternoon, he will be facing a Level I violation of NCAA regulations if he remains the head coach of the Michigan football team in 2023.
The Free Press has confirmed that Michigan is expected to receive an official notice of allegations from the NCAA soon, charging the program with four Level II violations — those deemed “more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or another advantage.”
According to a description adopted in 2019 — and Harbaugh himself with a Level I violation — a “severe breach of conduct” that “seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of college sports,” per the guidelines.
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The Free Press has learned that Harbaugh’s Level I infraction involves him intentionally lying to or misleading NCAA investigators and that the resulting punishment could involve a single-game suspension or even more games being forfeited.
The University of Michigan has the right to terminate Harbaugh’s contract for “cause” at any time during the duration of the contract (which ends in 2026). That, however, wouldn’t happen until the NCAA’s investigation was over.
Since the Wolverines lost to TCU in the College Football Playoff semifinal on Saturday in the Fiesta Bowl, rumors have been circulating about Harbaugh’s future with the team.
The Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers have both reportedly reached out to him about a possible head coaching position. Based on a report from The Athletic, Harbaugh would accept a job in the NFL if presented with the opportunity.
Last winter, Harbaugh interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings, but after not being offered the head coaching job, told the Free Press that he was committed to helping Michigan win a national championship.
On Thursday, about an hour before the first report of the NCAA violations by the Athletic, Harbaugh released a statement doubling down on comments he made last month, stating he expects to be the coach at Michigan next season. Nonetheless, he admitted that he has some uncertainty about the future.