NCAA committee fails to approve deal with Michigan, leaving coach Harbaugh’s status uncertain


By CLIFF BRUNT AP Sports Writer

It is unclear if the NCAA Committee on Infractions will accept Michigan’s proposal of a four-game suspension for coach Jim Harbaugh to settle a case involving recruiting violations.

Michigan recently submitted a negotiated resolution to the NCAA in a case that has been in the works for about two years. The school received notice earlier this year that the NCAA was investigating impermissible texts and calls — including some by Harbaugh — to high school prospects during part of a pandemic-related dead period for contact with potential recruits. The details were confirmed by a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not finalized at that time.

The committee could have approved a suspension for Harbaugh to start the upcoming season, but it reviewed the negotiated resolution between Michigan and the NCAA, and has more questions. Now, the case could go to a full hearing, which could lengthen the process and push any suspension back.

“It is not uncommon for the (Committee on Infractions) to seek clarification on key facts prior to accepting,” Derrick Crawford, NCAA vice president for hearing operations, said in a statement to the AP. “The COI may also reject an (negotiated resolution) if it determines that the agreement is not in the best interests of the Association or the penalties are not reasonable.”

Michigan spokesman Kurt Svoboda said in a text message to the AP that the school could not comment on an open NCAA case.

Michigan opens with four straight home games, starting Sept. 2 against East Carolina. The Wolverines then face UNLV, Bowling Green and Rutgers.

Harbaugh, 59, is entering his ninth season coaching at his alma mater. He is 74-25 with the Wolverines and has beaten archrival Ohio State each of the last two seasons.

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